Flavours of the Year


More consumer data from Technomic Inc.

Of the ethnically inspired chicken varieties, Caribbean jerk chicken, Korean fried chicken and regional Nashville hot chicken are among the most popular.

While spicy options remain prominent, with many operators on the perpetual hunt for the next trendy pepper or spice, consumer data shows that diners’ interest in heat is waning from “very spicy” to “moderately spicy”. In response, operators are blending sweet and spicy flavours to attain a more balanced level of heat, such as the pairing of mango with hot peppers.

According to Technomic’s MenusMonitor data, Asian chicken flavours, including Korean fried chicken, enjoy the most widespread popularity across the nation — Alberta, B.C., Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan, all prefer Asian chicken entrées above other options, this year. The next most popular option is a tie between chicken strips — in New Brunswick, New Foundland and Labrador and Yukon — and chicken value meals — in P.E.I., Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Based on the same MenusMonitor data collected by Technomic, the fastest-growing flavours in chicken dishes and entrees this year are cucumber, cheddar, coconut, bacon and spicy flavours.

The conclusion to draw from the data is that while chicken’s different varieties may be in and out of vogue in particular locations and points in time, this sustainable protein source, as a whole, remains highly sought after across the nation.

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