Consumer interest in global cuisines continues to rise

Posted by Isobel Drake on 21st January 2010

Emerging global cuisines are opening up a whole new world of culinary experiences to consumers of all ages due to the nearly infinite range of ingredients, forms and flavours they offer, according to Emerging Global Cuisines: Culinary Trend Mapping Report from the American-based Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts.

According to CCD, leading emerging global cuisines include Peruvian, Moroccan, Korean, and Japanese.

Driven by a host of forces, such as immigration, international travel, cooking shows, celebrity chefs and chain competition, these global foods are becoming more familiar and common.

“Consumers of all generations have always been open to global foods and to adopting them into their lifestyles. Now more than ever, a wider swath of global foods is adding relevance across generations – via flavour adventure, interactive and customisable dining, and authentically healthful dishes and preparations,” CCD CEO Kimberly Egan explained.

Culinary adventure for the adults of Gen Y

Many global cuisines offer novel interactive experiences, perfect for the open minds and thrill-seeking palates of Gen Y and anyone else looking to customise and play with their food. Wrapping, dipping, sharing and using new dining elements at the table such as chopsticks, Korean tabletop barbecues, and bento boxes is helping make dining more memorable. In addition, snacks, handheld foods and meal kits are burgeoning must-haves for those looking to recreate favourite global dishes at home. Everything from Peruvian causas to frozen Korean fried chicken and bulgogi BBQ wrap kits could cater to Gen Y’s varied culinary pursuits.

Gen X members look for easy-to-prepare alternatives

Busy Gen X parents are discovering the joys of easy-to-prepare one pot dishes such as Moroccan tagine stews with whole grain couscous or modified Korean bibimbap made with brown rice, vegetables and lean chicken. Meanwhile, parents are increasingly seeking healthful alternatives to chicken nuggets for their children, making room for globally inspired microwavable frozen snacks such as mini empanadas made with beans and corn, miso soup cups, and even blue French fried potatoes that add variety to after-school snacks.

Boomers intrigued by promise of healthful, flavourful meals

Healthful global foods, such as the grain-like quinoa or the versatile edamame, may take longer to attract a substantial following of younger consumers, but for Boomers, ready-made quinoa salads and stir-fries infused with edamame, jibe with the cohorts’ current wellness agenda.