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International Food Trends: Spotlight on Flavor - US - March 2017

"In 2016, retail sales of the international foods measured in this Report increased from 2015 totals. The bulk of sales are made up by the Mexican/Hispanic segment. All segments saw strong growth from 2012-16, and continued, albeit slower, growth is projected through 2021. Greater exposure to international food through shifting US demographics and increased appearance on US menus will drive this growth. Fresh offerings have seen strong sales growth in recent years, suggesting benefit from expanding beyond the box, into the refrigerator."
- Beth Bloom, Senior Food & Drink Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Dollar sales of market grow from 2011-16
  • Most food types are more likely to be consumed away from home
  • Composition of leading companies gives a look into segment performance

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Dollar sales of market grow 19% from 2011-16
            • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of international foods, at current prices, 2011-21
          • Most food types are more likely to be consumed away from home
            • Figure 2: International food consumption, by location – Any preparation, December 2016
          • Composition of leading companies gives a look into segment performance
            • Figure 3: MULO sales of international foods, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
          • The opportunities
            • The majority of international food eaters look for savory flavors
              • Figure 4: Flavors sought, December 2016
            • Meaty mains and appetizers lead international food trial interest
              • Figure 5: Types of food and drink for international trial, December 2016
            • Familiar flavors have greatest appeal
              • Figure 6: Interest in international snacks, December 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Dollar sales of market grow 19% from 2011-16
                • Mexican/Hispanic maintains market dominance
                  • Supermarkets make up more than two thirds of retail sales
                    • Food sales away from home win out in most recent measure
                      • Traditional North American cuisine is on the decline on US menus
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Dollar sales of market grow 19% from 2011-16
                          • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of international foods, at current prices, 2011-21
                          • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of international foods, at current prices, 2011-21
                          • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of international foods, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Mexican/Hispanic maintains market dominance
                          • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of international foods, by segment, at current prices, 2011-21
                        • Supermarkets make up more than two thirds of retail sales
                          • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of international food, by channel, at current prices, 2011-16
                      • Market Perspective

                        • A quarter of consumers intend to boost visits to restaurants with international cuisine in 2017
                          • Figure 12: Dining out behavior, September 2016
                        • Meal kit delivery does all the legwork
                          • Food sales away from home win out in most recent measure
                            • Figure 13: Food sales at home and away from home, January 2003-August 2016
                          • Traditional North American cuisine is on the decline on US menus
                            • Figure 14: Menu Item Cuisine Type, 2012-16
                        • Market Factors

                          • Non-White and non-Hispanic populations grow
                            • Figure 15: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2012-22
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Composition of leading companies gives a look into segment performance
                            • Gruma leads with 12% market share in measured segments
                              • Fresh options help Asian food brands
                                • Hummus companies dominate Mediterranean/Middle Eastern sales
                                • Manufacturer Sales of International Food

                                  • Gruma leads with 12% market share in measured segments
                                    • Sabra claims the third spot, finding dominance in the small Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food segment
                                      • Asian/Indian food leaders represent more meal focused options
                                        • Other brands see growth
                                          • Figure 16: MULO sales of international foods, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                      • What’s Working?

                                        • Most Mexican/Hispanic food leaders grow
                                          • Figure 17: MULO sales of Mexican/Hispanic foods, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                        • Fresh options help Asian food brands
                                          • Figure 18: MULO sales of Asian/Indian foods, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                        • Hummus companies dominate Mediterranean/Middle Eastern sales
                                          • Figure 19: MULO sales of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                      • What’s Struggling?

                                        • Most food types are more likely to be consumed away from home
                                            • Figure 20: International food consumption, by location – Any preparation, December 2016
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Freshen up
                                            • International flavors can diversify vegetarian eating occasions
                                              • Flavorful focus on health
                                                • Take it to the street
                                                  • Fundamentally global
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Italian, Mexican, and Chinese lead ethnic food consumption
                                                      • Supermarkets lead purchase location
                                                        • The majority of international food eaters look for savory flavors
                                                          • Indian and Mexican food are most likely to be seen as spicy
                                                            • Meaty mains and appetizers lead international food trial interest
                                                              • Familiar flavors have greatest appeal
                                                              • Consumption of International Food

                                                                • Italian, Mexican, and Chinese lead ethnic food consumption
                                                                  • Figure 21: International food consumption – Any source/preparation, December 2016
                                                                • Millennials are most likely to try all types of international food measured
                                                                  • Figure 22: International food consumption – Any source/preparation, by generation, December 2016
                                                              • International Food Preparation

                                                                • Italian and Mexican food are most likely to be prepared from scratch
                                                                    • Figure 23: International food consumption location, by cuisine type consumed, December 2016
                                                                    • Figure 24: International food consumption location – How prepared, by cuisine type consumed, December 2016
                                                                  • Women are more likely than men to prepare international food from scratch
                                                                    • Figure 25: International food consumption at home – Preparation, by gender, December 2016
                                                                  • Consumers are more likely than average to prepare the food from their region
                                                                    • Figure 26: Mexican/Hispanic food consumption at home – Preparation, by Hispanic origin, December 2016
                                                                    • Figure 27: Asian food consumption at home – Preparation, by race, December 2016
                                                                • Purchase Location

                                                                  • Supermarkets lead purchase location
                                                                    • Figure 28: Purchase location, December 2016
                                                                  • Consumers turn to alternative channels for less-popular cuisine types
                                                                    • Figure 29: Purchase location, by cuisine type, December 2016
                                                                  • Asian shoppers more than twice as likely than average to purchase at international markets
                                                                    • Figure 30: Purchase location, by race, December 2016
                                                                • Flavors Sought

                                                                  • The majority of international food eaters look for savory flavors
                                                                    • Figure 31: Flavors sought, December 2016
                                                                  • Products with a savory, spicy, meaty mix will appeal to 83% of international food eaters
                                                                    • Figure 32: TURF Analysis – Flavors sought, December 2016
                                                                    • Figure 33: Table – TURF Analysis – Flavors sought, December 2016
                                                                  • Mexican food eaters are only slightly more likely than average to seek out hot/spicy flavors
                                                                    • Figure 34: Flavors sought, by Mexican/Hispanic food buyers, December 2016
                                                                  • Thai and Indian food eaters are particularly interested in hot/spicy flavors
                                                                    • Figure 35: Flavors sought, by Asian food buyers, December 2016
                                                                  • Middle Eastern/Greek food consumers are particularly interested in herbal flavors
                                                                    • Figure 36: Flavors sought, by Middle Eastern/Greek food buyers, December 2016
                                                                  • Spicy flavors and meat have greater appeal among men
                                                                      • Figure 37: Flavors sought, by gender, December 2016
                                                                    • Millennials are open to the greatest range of flavors
                                                                      • Figure 38: Flavors sought, by generation, December 2016
                                                                  • International Food Flavor Profiles

                                                                    • Indian and Mexican food are most likely to be seen as spicy
                                                                      • Chinese food pigeonholed as sweet/sour and sweet/spicy
                                                                        • Consumers don’t know what to make of Middle Eastern food
                                                                          • Figure 39: Correspondence Analysis – Matching flavors to cuisine, December 2016
                                                                          • Figure 40: Matching flavors to cuisine, December 2016
                                                                      • Food/Drink Types for International Trial

                                                                        • Meaty mains and appetizers lead international food trial interest
                                                                          • Figure 41: Types of food and drink for international trial, December 2016
                                                                        • Non-meat options find appeal among eaters of Asian and Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food
                                                                          • Figure 42: Types of food and drink for international trial, by Asian food buyers, December 2016
                                                                          • Figure 43: Types of food and drink for international trial, by Middle Eastern/Greek food buyers, December 2016
                                                                        • Smaller dishes have a greater appeal among women
                                                                          • Figure 44: Types of food and drink for international trial, by gender, December 2016
                                                                        • Snacks are a strong opportunity for younger consumers…
                                                                          • …while meals appeal to Gen X and above
                                                                              • Figure 45: Types of food and drink for international trial, by generation, December 2016
                                                                            • Asian consumers are most willing to dive into main course options, especially those that are veggie based
                                                                              • Figure 46: Types of food and drink for international trial, by race, December 2016
                                                                            • Sweets appeal to lower-income earners
                                                                              • Figure 47: Types of food and drink for international trial, by HH income, December 2016
                                                                          • Interest in International Snacks

                                                                            • Familiar flavors have greatest appeal
                                                                              • Figure 48: Interest in international snacks, December 2016
                                                                            • Men are more likely than women to be interested in trial of snacks
                                                                              • Figure 49: Interest in international snacks, by gender, December 2016
                                                                            • Younger consumers are more open to a range of international snacks
                                                                              • Figure 50: Interest in international snacks, by gender, December 2016
                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                              • Sales data
                                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                                    • TURF analysis methodology
                                                                                      • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                                        • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                            • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                • Figure 51: Total US retail sales and forecast of Mexican/Hispanic food, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                • Figure 52: Total US retail sales and forecast of Mexican/Hispanic food, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of Asian/Indian food, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                • Figure 54: Total US retail sales and forecast of Asian/Indian food, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                • Figure 55: Total US retail sales and forecast of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                • Figure 56: Total US retail sales and forecast of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                • Figure 57: US supermarket sales of international foods, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                                                • Figure 58: US sales of international foods through other retail channels, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                                                • Figure 59: Menu item cuisine type, 2012-16
                                                                                            • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                                • Figure 60: MULO sales of international foods, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                                                • Figure 61: MULO sales of Mexican/Hispanic foods, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                                                • Figure 62: MULO sales of Asian/Indian foods, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                                                • Figure 63: MULO sales of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016

                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                            International Food Trends: Spotlight on Flavor - US - March 2017

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