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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Regional and International Flavors and Ingredients – US market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Regional and international flavors often play a big role in mealtime choice and a changing demographic landscape combined with new consumer priorities is shaping an increasingly diverse and dynamic future. Cuisines, both domestic and international, lie on a spectrum from established to emerging, and where cuisines land on the spectrum shifts based on consumer age, location, culture and willingness to seek out new flavors. The divide between what consumers want and expect from a meal at home and from a dining out occasion is blurring, pointing to new opportunities for both foodservice operators and packaged brands.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Alyssa Hangartner, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Today’s consumer landscape is diversifying, and in turn, the expectations of international and regional flavors are changing. Foodservice plays a strong role in flavor and cuisine discovery but younger consumers are equally likely to seek out these flavor profiles in the grocery store. While consumers have shifted their food spend primarily to retail channels, brands must preserve authenticity when innovating with international flavors in particular. Not an easy task. The variety in cuisines available today, both on-premise and in retail is greater than ever and this wide assortment is becoming the norm.
Alyssa Hangartner
Flavor and Ingredient Trends Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
    • Impact of COVID-19 on International and Regional Flavors
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on food and drink, November 2020
    • Opportunities and Challenges
    • Re-emergence
      • Figure 2: Regional and international flavor attitudes, by generation, August 2020
      • Figure 3: Cuisine attitudes and behaviors, by prioritization of authenticity, August 2020
    • Recovery
      • Figure 4: International cuisine consumption, by generation, August 2020
      • Figure 5: Interest in emerging international cuisines, August 2020
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Cuisine exploration is multichannel
    • Consumer palates are more diverse than ever
  4. Target Audience by the Numbers

    • The most adventurous eaters are young and male
      • Figure 6: Interest in trying new flavors, by age and gender, August 2020
    • International cuisine consumption is on the rise across all age groups
      • Figure 7: COVID-19-related changes in food and drink behavior, by age, July 2020
    • Shifts in foodservice options
      • Figure 8: Restaurant dine-in, takeout and delivery in past three months (NET), by age, July 2020
    • Food and drink spend shifts to at home, cooking
      • Figure 9: Food and drink behaviors, August 2020
    • Impact of COVID-19 on International and Regional Flavors
      • Figure 10: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on food and drink, November 2020
    • Lockdown
    • Re-emergence
    • Recovery
    • COVID-19: US context
  5. International and Regional Cuisine by Segment

    • Cuisine innovation on the menu has slowed due to the pandemic
      • Figure 11: Percent change in instances of menu items by cuisine, Q2 2016-Q2 2020
    • Global flavors grow in CPG
      • Figure 12: International flavors growing directionally in CPG food and beverages, Q3 2019 – Q3 2020
  6. Market Factors

    • New experiences are more important than ever
      • Figure 13: Key factors driving consumer behavior, experiences, by age, July 2020
    • Demographic landscape is changing
      • Figure 14: Percentage change in population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2015-25
    • Greek, Middle Eastern and Thai chip away at the mainstream
      • Figure 15: Change in international cuisine consumption, August 2019-20
  7. Market Opportunities

    • Multicultural consumers seek global packaged innovation
      • Figure 16: International and regional cuisine attitudes, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2020
    • Help consumers support their specific wellness goals
      • Figure 17: Current usage and future interest in food and drink claims, August 2020
  8. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Regional American flavors cross category lines
    • Asian flavors are becoming specialized
    • Flavorful spices with wellness positioning align with consumer priorities
  9. Flavor Innovation in CPG

    • Brands showcase BBQ styles across CPG categories
      • Figure 18: Experience and interest in American BBQ styles, August 2020
    • Packaged brands lean into contemporary Asian flavors
      • Figure 19: Asian cuisine consumption, by interest in trying new flavors, August 2020
    • Warm Moroccan seasonings spice up conventional foods
      • Figure 20: Interest in African cuisine, by generation, August 2020
  10. Flavor Innovation on the Menu

    • Menus tap into regional BBQ LTO’s
    • Middle Eastern cuisine proliferates among BFY segments
    • Asian cuisines get regional on menus
      • Figure 21: Preparation of ingredients on US Menus, Q2 2019-2020
      • Figure 22: Change in Asian cuisine consumption, August 2019-20
  11. The Consumer – What You Need to Know

    • Familiarity and social networks influence cuisine selection
    • Barbecue and Southern food tap into comfort, yet there is room to grow
    • Interest in emerging international flavors point to a flavorful future
  12. Preferred Foods for New Flavor Trial

    • Small bites and familiar dishes are best suited for new flavors
      • Figure 23: Menu position or food types suitable for new flavor trial, August 2020
    • Familiarity plays a strong role in trying new cuisines
      • Figure 24: New cuisine motivators, August 2020
    • Adventurous consumers find inspiration through social channels
      • Figure 25: New cuisine motivators, by interest in new flavors, August 2020
  13. International and Regional Cuisine Attitudes

      • Figure 26: International and regional cuisine attitudes, August 2020
    • Consumers are willing to take a risk on trying new cuisines
      • Figure 27: International and regional cuisine attitudes, by age, August 2020
    • Interest in spicy flavors has regional ties
      • Figure 28: International and regional cuisine attitudes, by region, August 2020
  14. Regional and International Cuisine Consumption

    • Mainstream international cuisines continue to give way to more nuance
      • Figure 29: Regional and international cuisine consumption, net any consumption, August 2020
    • International flavors are equally suitable for at-home occasions
      • Figure 30: Regional and International cuisine consumption, August 2020
    • Gen Z, Millennial consumers lead emerging cuisine consumption
      • Figure 31: International cuisine consumption, by generation, August 2020
    • Barbecue and Southern fare net a large audience
      • Figure 32: Current regional and international cuisine consumption, August 2020
    • Changing demographic makeup will influence mainstream cuisines
      • Figure 33: Regional and international cuisine consumption, by generation, August 2020
  15. Interest and Experience with Regional American Cuisines

    • Brands have room to grow through the nuances of American BBQ
      • Figure 34: Experience and interest in regional cuisines, August 2020
    • Take consumers on a culinary tour of American regional flavors
      • Figure 35: Experience and interest in regional cuisines, by region, August 2020
    • Women are equally interested in exploring regional barbecue
      • Figure 36: Experience and interest in regional barbecue, by gender, August 2020
  16. Interest and Experience with Emerging International Cuisines

    • Dive deeper into regionals among established international cuisines
      • Figure 37: Experience and interest in international cuisines, August 2020
    • Niche international cuisines still need time to simmer
      • Figure 38: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – Interest in regional and international cuisine, August 2020
    • The future of mainstream cuisine will be increasingly diverse
      • Figure 39: interest in emerging international cuisines, by generation, August 2020
  17. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


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