Ethnic Restaurants - US - March 2012
Ethnic restaurants have proliferated as Americans’ palates have become sophisticated and diners have sought out new flavors and experiences. Italian, Mexican, and Chinese cuisines remain the most popular, with more than half of all respondents having visited one or more such restaurants in the past month.
As the economy improves in 2012, Mintel sees restaurant patronage and sales rising. A majority of Americans say they are more open to ethnic dining than in the past, and an opportunity for growth now exists if ethnic concepts move quickly to capture it. Ethnic restaurant concepts face several unique challenges to growth, among them higher prices than for American fare, a belief that chain operations are less authentic than independent ethnic restaurants, and a lack of knowledge about many of the flavors and ingredients that inhibits exploration of new cuisines.
In this report, Mintel presents analysis of the ethnic restaurant marketplace using proprietary research into consumer attitudes and behaviors toward dining including:
- overall restaurant usage and ethnic concepts’ place in the marketplace
- economic and social factors that drive ethnic restaurant demand
- the impact of population shifts on the supply of and consumer interest in ethnic fare
- how consumers learn about global cuisines and ethnic restaurants
- how marketing strategies, especially digital and social media, can transform awareness into patronage
- consumer attitudes about ethnic cuisines and the advantages and barriers they create
- consumers’ definitions of “authenticity” and their impact on menu and marketing
- improvements in ethnic restaurants that diners say would lead them to choose ethnic concepts more often.
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