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Emerging Global Cuisines: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

Every year the predictions roll in for the next hot ethnic food. Will it be Yucatecan? Greek? Australian? We at the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) believe these pinpoint predictions sell short the smorgasbord of global (a term we prefer to “ethnic”) cuisines available to hungry diners, who are becoming ever more sophisticated with each passing year, trend, travel adventure and immigration wave. Today, a variety of global ingredients, flavors and foods are simultaneously growing popular around the country, driving global cuisines far beyond niche business status.

Myriad forces are driving this exciting growth, including new immigration and the resulting new restaurants and food carts, consumers traveling internationally or at least (in this recessionary era) watching internationally themed cooking shows, and the rise of globally inspired packaged prepared foods in a variety of retail channels.

Yet these drivers alone aren’t the whole story. American consumers find great appeal in global foods, as they always have. They seek out the adventure and discovery of new foods, using familiar forms—like sandwiches, stews, barbecue or rice bowls—as a bridge to more exotic culinary expressions. They enjoy the interactive qualities of wrapping, dipping and using chopsticks. And many of them are drawn to the authentically healthful nature (and often the more economical nature) of many foreign cuisines—think Japanese or Indian, with their reliance on vegetables and grains. And then there is the thrill of new flavors: the power of umami, the savory fifth flavor; the artfully balanced hot-sour-salty-sweet Southeast Asian sauces; the aromatic, cinnamon-spice-scented Moroccan tagines.

Emerging Global Cuisines: Culinary Trend Mapping Report profiles five emerging global cuisines that have great potential for trend translation. These cuisines are generating excitement among adventurous diners, restaurant chefs, food editors, celebrity chefs and cookbook writers. Although we are tracking other great global cuisines, such as Indian, these five have exciting and novel elements that are well suited for product development right now because these elements translate so well.

  • Peruvian - The Latin American cuisine getting the most attention right now for unique versions of familiar ingredients (such as corn, potatoes and chiles) and its cross-cultural, cross-continental fusion nature.

  • Moroccan - This North African cuisine is loaded with healthful Mediterranean ingredients that are composed into spice-enhanced, flavorful dishes with a craveable savory-sweet flavor profile.

  • Korean - The latest Asian cuisine to make inroads into the U.S. culinary landscape, Korean is a gutsier, full-flavored version of Japanese, with familiar ingredients (like soy, ginger, beef and cabbage) yet heightened flavors. The interactivity of Korean is also a selling point for Gen Y.

  • Japanese - There’s more to Japanese than sushi as American diners discover the core flavors and foods of this seafood-based cuisine. The healthfulness can’t be beat.

  • New Southern - While retaining its comfort food credentials, this regional American cuisine has gotten a makeover from chefs inspired by its fusion flavors, local ingredients and traditional foodways. Lightened, sophisticated and artisan foods from the South are in the spotlight in America as we celebrate our own food heritage.

Each profile featured in Emerging Global Cuisines includes a Trend Map and summary of key dishes and ingredients on the rise, a delineation of the characteristics of the cuisine that are especially pertinent to food marketers, and strategic bridges to consider in bringing these foods to more mainstream audiences.

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The Culinary Trend Mapping Report is an indispensable tool for those whose job it is to stay abreast of what's hot - and what will be - in the food world.

The reports leverage the Center for Culinary Development’s (CCD) signature Trend Mapping technique, a validated method for identifying which culinary trends are gaining traction and which are simply flashes in the pan.

Each 65+ page journal is packed with trends, data, strategies and insights on the food industry that simply aren't available anywhere else.

Each Issue of the Culinary Trends Mapping Report

  • Identifies the maturity level of foods and ingredients according to CCD’s unique, proprietary 5-stage trend mapping process.
  • Concentrates on a theme that is affecting the food industry, and then looks at the emerging and established trends along the Trend Map that are shaping this theme.
  • Delves into these trends and what they mean for you and the manufacturing, retailing, and foodservice industries.
  • Gives strategic insight into how consumers are thinking of and reacting to new foods and ingredients.
  • Provides business know-how regarding opportunities, challenges, and ways to implement current trends into foodservice, retail, and packaged goods operations.
  • Presents a feature interview with a member chef from CCD’s exclusive 80+ member Chefs’ Council who offers expert analysis and unique perspective on a specific trend.
Trend Mapping

Trend Mapping is guided by the premise that major food trends pass through five distinct stages on their way to the mainstream:

  • Stage 1: The ingredient, dish and/or cooking technique appears at upscale dining establishments, ethnic and popular independent restaurants.
  • Stage 2: The item is featured in specialty consumer-oriented food magazines such as Bon Appetit plus retail stores such as Sur La Table that target culinary professionals and serious home cooks.
  • Stage 3: The item begins to appear in mainstream chain restaurants -- Applebee's or Chili's --as well as retail stores such as Williams-Sonoma that target recreational cooks.
  • Stage 4: Publications such as Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens pick up the buzz.
  • Stage 5: Finally, the trend makes its way to quick service restaurant menus and either starts to appear or gains increased mainstream presence on grocery store shelves.

Published bimonthly, the Culinary Trend Mapping Report is available for purchase as a single issue or a six-issue subscription.

In the News

Global Cuisines Capture the Attention and Appetite of Every Generation

New York, January 19, 2009 - Emerging global cuisines are literally opening up a whole new world of culinary experiences to American consumers of all ages due to the nearly infinite range of ingredients, forms and flavors they offer, according to Emerging Global Cuisines: Culinary Trend Mapping Report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts.

According to CCD, emerging global cuisines include Peruvian, Moroccan, Korean, Japanese and New Southern—a regional American favorite that has recently reemerged on the national table. Driven by a host of forces, such as immigration, international travel, cooking shows, celebrity chefs and chain competition, these global foods are becoming more familiar and common.

“American consumers of all generations have always been open to global foods and to adopting them into their lifestyles. Now more than ever, a wider swath of global foods is adding relevance across generations — via flavor adventure, interactive and customizable dining, and authentically healthful dishes and preparations,” says CCD CEO Kimberly Egan.

Culinary adventure and the adults of Gen Y. Many global cuisines offer novel interactive experiences, perfect for the open minds and thrill-seeking palates of Gen Y and anyone else looking to customize and play with their food. Wrapping, dipping, sharing and using new dining elements at the table such as chopsticks, Korean tabletop barbecues, and bento boxes can make dining memorable and fun. In addition, snacks, handheld foods and meal kits are burgeoning must-haves for those looking to recreate favorite global dishes at home. Everything from Peruvian causas to frozen Korean fried chicken and bulgogi BBQ wrap kits could cater to Gen Y’s varied culinary pursuits.

Easy-to-prepare with an international flair attract Gen X families. Globally oriented but busy Gen X parents are discovering the joys of easy-to-prepare one pot dishes such as Moroccan tagine stews with whole grain couscous or modified Korean bibimbap made with brown rice, vegetables and lean chicken. Meanwhile, parents are increasingly seeking healthful alternatives to chicken nuggets for their children, making room for globally inspired microwavable frozen snacks such as healthful mini empanadas made with beans and corn, miso soup cups, and even blue French fried potatoes that add variety to after-school snacks.

Boomers intrigued by a dose of nostalgia and the promise of healthful, flavorful meals. The pull of nostalgia is strong for Boomers whose appetites could be whet by New Southern dishes that evoke traditional America and offer an extra twist of comfort food appeal, such as breakfast grits topped with eggs and grated cheese, Healthful global foods, such as the grain-like quinoa or the über-versatile edamame, may take longer to attract a substantial following of younger consumers, while for Boomers ready-made quinoa salads and stir-fries infused with edamame jibe with the cohorts’ current wellness agenda.

The Culinary Trend Mapping Report is co-published by the Center for Culinary Development and Packaged Facts.

About the Center for Culinary Development - CCD is a full-service food and beverage strategic innovation company that successfully blends culinary creativity with consumer insights, trends and marketing expertise.

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.

Executive Summary
Why Emerging Global Cuisines — Kimberly Egan
Executive Summary

Trend Profiles
Trend Summary
New Southern

Chef Speak: CCD Chefs’ Council Interview
Jeffrey Saad: Cooking Without borders

Strategic Implications
Opportunities for Emerging Global Cuisines

Source List

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