CHICAGO — Ethnic foods and flavours play a key role in Canadians’ restaurant visits, with consumers ordering ethnic foods and flavours nearly half the time, says new data from Technomic.
According to the 2017 Canadian Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report, as the population becomes increasingly multicultural and aware of international cuisines, consumers will become more familiar with less mainstream ingredients and flavours (such as Lebanese and Ethiopian flavours). As a result, they will also become increasingly knowledgeable about and discerning of ethnic dishes, making authenticity a key differentiator.
“As interest in more unique ethnic dishes continues to grow, harnessing the perception of authenticity, while also balancing approachability, will be crucial to growing share of stomach,” says Anne Mills, manager of Consumer Insights at Technomic. “Operators and suppliers must ensure customers know the ingredients and flavours in these offerings to avoid alienating less adventurous consumers.”
According to the report, 21 per cent of consumers are preparing more ethnic foods at home now than two years ago; 40 per cent of consumers (up from 35 per cent in 2015) are trying ethnic foods because they want to eat spicier flavours; and consumers are more likely now than two years ago to order ethnic dishes or flavours for lunch or snacks.