This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Trending Asian Cuisine Flavors market including US Trending Asian Cuisine Flavors market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Trending Asian Cuisine Flavors market in the US.

Current market landscape

The majority of US consumers eat Asian cuisine; nearly half do so only on occasion, and just over a quarter do so regularly, indicating growth potential. There are two concurrent paths to growth for operators and brands: increase consumption frequency and diversify the cuisines, ingredients, and flavors available.

Over the course of the pandemic, a quarter of consumers improved their Asian cooking skills; however, limited availability of ingredients and a desire for greater eating adventures, along with cooking fatigue, will likely serve to boost restaurant traffic. Cooking-weary diners are returning to restaurants, but the economy threatens to keep spending in check overall. Operators and brands that can deliver on quality, value and adventure will best sustain consumer attention.

Future market trends in US Trending Asian Cuisine Flavors

Chinese cuisine is by far the most widely eaten Asian cuisine and has near universal appeal. However, there is enough interest in emerging and regional options to warrant attention. Cuisines that are relative newcomers on the US dining scene have some catching up to do and will be bolstered by the growth of Asian populations in the US. A better understanding of the flavor and ingredient nuances of lesser-known dishes and products will help to encourage trial.

Rice and noodle main dishes are the most often eaten, but consumers’ shifting consumption habits warrant added focus on food types farther down on the preference list. Handheld sandwiches and buns will come back into favor as more people venture out of the home. There is also opportunity for mixing up dayparts to encourage broader Asian cuisine adoption, such as Asian-inspired breakfast sandwiches as well as desserts and beverages, which are ideal canvasses for flavor introduction.

Read on to discover more about the US Trending Asian Cuisine Flavors consumer market, read our Poultry – US – 2021 report, or take a look at our other Food and Foodservice Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and flavors and ingredients in Asian cuisine.
  • Asian cuisine varieties and dishes consumed.
  • Attitudes toward and perceptions of Asian cuisine.
  • Interest and experience with Asian cuisine flavors and ingredients.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Simple Truth Free From, Sweet Earth, LeeKum Kee, Wicked Foods, Metropolitan Market Butcher Shop, Asian Home Gourmet, Fly by Jing, Azadi Brewing Company, Kavi, Bubbleology, Evol Paleo, HelloFresh, Kevin’s Natural Foods, Tyson, Southern Grove, Krakatoa Hot Chips, Triton, Boulevard Beverage Co, The Fresh Market, Costco, Pamana, Bushwick Kitchen, India Tree, Le Sauce & Co, Wegmans Food, Sous Chef, Shirakiku, Tuscan Garden Restaurant, Amazon Kitchen, Azadi Brewing, Pulmuone.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Amanda Topper, a leading analyst in the Food and Foodservice sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The long history of Chinese food in the US and its resulting ubiquity ensures its role as the most consumed Asian cuisine. Trends have come and gone, but there continues to be room for additional uptake of lesser-known types of Asian food including regional and emerging cuisines. Much of Asian cuisine is built on ingredients and flavors that are not part of mainstream use, highlighting opportunity for brands and operators to use familiar flavors and formats as a base to encourage trial of less-familiar flavors and ingredients.

Amanda Topper, Director – US Research
Amanda Topper
Director, US Research

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Market context
          • COVID-19: US context
            • Economic and other assumptions
            • Executive Summary

                • Top takeaways
                  • Asian cuisine has broad appeal, yet there is room for growth
                    • Figure 1: Asian cuisine consumption frequency, 2021
                  • Impact of COVID-19 on food and drink
                    • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on food and drink, 2021
                  • Opportunities and challenges
                    • Chinese cuisine is ubiquitous, ample room for growth of less-consumed types
                      • Figure 3: Types of Asian cuisine consumed, 2021
                    • Flavor variety and health attributes are the foundation for building engagement
                      • Figure 4: Perceptions of Asian cuisine, 2021
                    • Room for flexibility when building Asian-inspired platform
                      • Figure 5: Attitudes toward Asian cuisine, 2021
                    • Expand Asian-inspired flavor influences to more food types
                      • Figure 6: Asian dishes typically consumed, 2021
                      • Figure 7: Interest in Asian flavors and ingredients, by channel, part 1, 2021
                  • Target Audience – Key Takeaways

                    • Room to increase the range of Asian cuisine consumption
                      • Asian population changes will fuel expansion
                        • Millennials and Gen X driving flavor quest and fostering future generations
                        • Target Audience by the Numbers

                          • Customization can lead to increased consumption frequency
                            • Figure 8: Asian cuisine consumption frequency, 2021
                          • Younger generations, Asian population growth will drive more frequent and varied consumption
                            • Figure 9: Types of Asian cuisine consumed, 2021
                          • Older generations popularized Chinese cuisine, younger ones are expanding the scope
                            • Figure 10: Asian cuisine consumption frequency, by generation, 2021
                        • Market Factors

                          • Increase in Asian population will fuel regional cuisine growth
                            • Figure 10: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2016-26
                          • Diversifying palates indicate positive future for emerging cuisines
                            • Figure 12: Change in flavor type consumption, 2020
                        • Market Opportunities

                          • Flavor and health messaging miss Gen Zs and Millennials
                            • Figure 13: Asian-influenced plant-based innovations
                            • Figure 14: Perceptions of Asian cuisine, by generation, 2021
                          • Social media is key for inspiration and instruction
                            • Figure 15: Types of Asian dishes, by generation and parental status, 2021
                            • Figure 16: Instagram – Full House BBQ Las Vegas
                            • Figure 17: Types of Asian dishes, by Asian cuisine attitudes, 2021
                            • Figure 18: Instagram posts featuring salad, sandwich, dessert, beverage
                          • Scratch simplified
                            • Figure 19: Interest and experience with Asian flavors, by channel, 2021
                            • Figure 20: Convenience-focused Asian products
                          • Expand the palate palette with second-tier dishes
                            • Figure 21: Asian dishes typically consumed, 2021
                            • Figure 22: Kasama Breakfast Sandwich featuring longganisa with egg and cheese
                        • Operator and Brand Strategies – Key Takeaways

                          • Unique restaurant experiences can drive Asian cuisine trial
                            • Packaged food can simplify the often-complex sourcing of food for home consumption
                              • Retail prepared meals, meal kits bridge the gap between foodservice and from-scratch options
                                • Ingredient versatility can grow at-home usage
                                • Operator and Menu Strategies and Trends

                                  • Layering flavors for maximum appeal
                                    • Figure 23: Top 10 leading flavors in Asian cuisine on US menus, Q2 2018-Q2 2021
                                  • Flavor inspiration through flexible dayparts and dishes
                                    • Figure 24: Interest in Asian flavors, by channel, 2021
                                  • Elevating the Asian dining experience
                                      • Figure 25: Sunda Filipino Kamayan Feast
                                    • Milk teas, and boba: social media darlings
                                      • Figure 26: Instagram – Bubbleology
                                      • Figure 27: Interest in Asian flavors and ingredients, by channel, milk tea, by generation, 2021
                                  • Packaged Food Strategies and Trends

                                    • Prepared meals and proteins bring Asian flavors and ingredients into the home
                                      • Figure 28: Restaurant-inspired prepared meal innovation using Asian flavors
                                      • Figure 29: Restaurant-inspired protein innovation using Asian flavors
                                    • Less-often consumed Asian-flavored dishes and drinks can be a flavor point of entry
                                      • Figure 30: Snack innovation using Asian flavors
                                      • Figure 31: Beverage innovation with yuzu
                                    • Prepared dishes from stores encroaching on at-home cooking
                                      • Consumers welcome shortcuts from retailers
                                        • Figure 32: Types of Asian dishes typically eaten, by “Asian-flavored products from the store are too Americanized,” 2021
                                    • Ingredient Strategies and Trends

                                      • Home cooks reach for ingredients with multiple uses
                                        • Figure 33: Interest in Asian flavors and ingredients, by “In a recipe to cook at home,” 2021
                                        • Figure 34: Leading at-home Asian flavors
                                      • Suggested uses, recipe inspiration can bring restaurant ingredients home
                                        • Figure 35: Interest in Asian flavors and ingredients, by channel, 2021
                                        • Figure 36: Popular restaurant flavors in home-use formats
                                    • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                      • Provide shortcuts and guidance on ingredients and techniques
                                        • Opportunity to grow reach of emerging and regional cuisines
                                          • Plant-based dishes and value offerings can improve health and affordability perceptions
                                            • A wider variety of dishes can encourage flavor trial
                                              • Versatility can broaden flavor and ingredient usage
                                              • Asian Cuisine Attitudes

                                                • Encourage home cooks with shortcuts and education
                                                  • Figure 37: Asian cuisine attitudes, 2021
                                                • Keep Asian heat on a dial and dial up social media
                                                  • Figure 38: Perceptions of Asian cuisine, by generation, 2021
                                              • Asian Cuisine Consumption

                                                • Population growth, consumer education will expand Asian cuisine
                                                  • Figure 39: Asian cuisine consumption, 2021
                                                • Gen X and younger drive emerging Asian exploration
                                                  • Figure 40: Asian cuisine consumption, by generation, 2021
                                                • Familiar flavors can inspire deeper trial
                                                  • Figure 41: Types of Asian cuisine consumed most often, 2021
                                                • Featuring regional specials can draw attention
                                                  • Figure 42: Types of Asian cuisine consumed most often, by generation, 2021
                                                  • Figure 43: Instagram post – Kin Dee Houston
                                                • Parents can take kids on culinary adventures
                                                  • Figure 44: Types of Asian cuisine consumed most often, by parental status, 2021
                                              • Perceptions of Asian Cuisine

                                                • Plant-based dishes can boost health halo
                                                  • Figure 45: Perceptions of Asian cuisine, 2021
                                                • Affordable and premium offerings can coexist
                                                  • Figure 46: Perceptions of Asian cuisine, by generation, 2021
                                                  • Figure 47: Instagram – Houndstooth and Koobala restaurants’ rice bowls
                                                • Family-style meals can boost affordability perceptions among parents
                                                  • Figure 48: Perceptions of Asian cuisine, by parental status, 2021
                                                • Use excitement and adventure themes on social media
                                                  • Figure 49: Perceptions of Asian cuisine, by Asian cuisine attitudes, 2021
                                              • Asian Dish Consumption

                                                • Convenient formats can expand consumption beyond noodles and rice
                                                  • Figure 50: Asian dish consumption, 2021
                                                  • Figure 51: Dessert, dressing and sandwich innovation using Asian flavors
                                                • Diversified flavors for older generations, diversified dishes for younger ones
                                                  • Figure 52: Asian dishes typically consumed, by generation, 2021
                                                  • Figure 53: Azadi Brewing Gir Lassi Milkshake IPA
                                                • Online retailing can fill the gap for hard-to-source ingredients
                                                  • Figure 54: Asian dishes typically consumed, by area, 2021
                                              • Interest and Experience with Asian Flavors

                                                • Flavor and ingredient versatility can boost usage
                                                  • Figure 55: Interest in Asian flavors and ingredients, by channel, part 1, 2021
                                                  • Figure 56: Interest in Asian flavors and ingredients, by channel, part 2, 2021
                                                  • Figure 57: Interest in Asian flavors and ingredients, by channel, part 3, 2021
                                                  • Figure 58: Instagram – Flipsigi Restaurant x Holy Tshili Chili Crisp
                                                  • Figure 59: Pulmuone Korean-Inspired Pork Dumplings
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Menu Matrix Methodology
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations

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