Asian and Latin: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

While flavors and dishes from Asian and Latin cuisines have been incorporated into the American mainstream diet for many decades, more authentic and traditional foods are increasingly important in the restaurant and packaged foods marketplace. This new wave caters to the larger percentage of the population—including Millennials as well as the growing Asian and Latin populations--calling for a broader spectrum of food choices. All appreciate authentic flavors, so establishing credibility as a supplier of authentically inspired regional favorites is a way to stand out from culturally diluted offerings. With the target marketing of supermarket products, the differences come factors such as cooking skill levels and habits and the relative priority on convenience.

This report features specific strategic ideas and directions by food category: meals, sauces & condiments, beverages, and sweets. Behind these trending dishes, drinks, and product types are the consumer drivers to our heightened interest in Asian and Latin specialties: authenticity, flavor adventure, and comfort food. Based on CCD Innovation’s signature Trend Mapping technique, these trends are:

  • Stage 1: Lomo Saltado - A product of Peru’s Chifa (Chinese-inspired) cuisine, lomo saltado exhibits the unique blending of ethnic influences in the country’s foodways.
  • Stage 1: Asian Burritos - The portable, meal-worthy burrito form naturally lends itself to all kinds of filling flavors in this era of creative culinary blending, such as the mash-up of savory Asian flavors and ingredients into a classically Mexican dish.
  • Stage 2: Vietnamese Coffee - Growth of banh mi sandwiches and pho has led to an interest in authentic Vietnamese drinks, including Vietnamese coffee brewed through a unique metal filter and served hot or iced.
  • Stage 2: Frozen Treats - Global frozen treats entice kids and grown-ups of all ages with new fruit and spice flavors and styles. This includes Asian- and Latin-inspired frozen desserts such as ice pops, shaved ice, and halo-halo.
  • Stage 3: One-Bowl Meals - Easy-to-eat, filling and comforting bowls built on a foundation of rice or noodles topped with a variety of vegetables/proteins/sauces/condiments are one-stop shopping meals that are versatile and reasonably healthful.
  • Stage 4: Flavor on the Grill - New Asian and Latin seasonings are flavoring marinades, spice rubs and toppings for grilled food made at home.
  • Stage 5: Convenience Meals - Soups, prepared meals and meal kits are moving into new flavor territory by offering authentic food lovers convenient products without excessive taste compromise.
The CCD Innovation 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 CCD Innovation’s 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. To further enrich our already industry leading analysis, our reports now include new charts, listings, and other features based on results culled from Datassential MenuTrends, a database that tracks 7,000 distinct U.S. restaurants and over one million menu items.

Each Issue of the Culinary Trends Mapping Report
  • Identifies the maturity level of foods and ingredients according to CCD Innovation’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 Innovation’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.

  • Category Relevance Key
  • Executive Overview
    • Why Asian & Latin?
    • Executive Summary
  • Trend Profiles
    • lomo saltado | asian burritos
    • vietnamese coffee | frozen treats
    • one-bowl meals
    • flavor on the grill
    • convenience meals
  • Strategic Implications
    • Opportunities for Asian & Latin
  • Sources

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