February 16, 2011
CHICAGOConsumers becoming more interested in trying out complicated ethnic dishes at home that usually would be prepared by a chef in a restaurant is helping drive interest in exotic flavors and ingredients, according to a new report from market researcher Mintel.
According to Mintels Global New Products Database (GNPD), lesser-known ethnic fare has witnessed strong product growth in recent years. Mintel tracked a 150-percent increase from 2009 in new food items that contained Caribbean" in the product description; Japanese" product launches soared more than 230 percent; and Thai" products launches saw a 68-percent increase.
The rise in product launches is attributed to the variety of outlets consumers have at their disposal to learn more about ethnic foods that arent common to their ethnic background. Interestingly, 26 percent of ethnic foodies were introduced to the cuisine by TV programs, newspapers or magazines that feature cuisine from other countries; 23 percent were spurred to try them after reading cookbooks that included recipes for dishes that are popular in other countries. Additionally, 18 percent of food-lovers developed a taste for ethnic foods after travelling abroad; 25 percent said they were introduced to their favorite ethnic fare because they live in a diverse neighborhood where the food and ingredients are readily available.
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