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International Cuisine Inspires Worldly Snack FoodsInternational Cuisine Inspires Worldly Snack Foods

June 14, 2013

3 Min Read
International Cuisine Inspires Worldly Snack Foods

ROCKVILLE, M.D.Food snack developers are taking inspiration from international cuisines and ethnic flavors, offering consumers exciting and innovative snack products that satisfy their cravings, according to a new report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) Innovation and Packaged Facts.  

The "Worldly Snacks: Culinary Trend Mapping Report" utilized the CCD Innovation's Trend Mapping technique to track significant developments in worldly snacks across five stages. The report is guided by the premise that food trends go through five distinct stages in becoming mainstream. Such stages are defined as, Stage 1 where the food trends appear in upscale, ethnic and other popular independent restaurants. Stage 2 trends gain attention by being featured in specialty consumer-oriented food magazines and in retail stores targeting culinary professionals. At stage 3, trends begin to appear in mainstream chain restaurants and retail stores, while trends in Stage 4 begin to be picked-up in publications like "Better Homes and Gardens". Lastly, Stage 5 trends establish a mainstream presence by appearing on quick service restaurant menus and grocery store shelves.

In Stage 1, Brazilian Brigaderios are a sweet, trending snack that involves few ingredients and has been gaining popularity on recipe websites since it's easy to make. Asian bar snacking was also identified as a stage 1 trend. Asian bar snack spots are the next big thing in Asian cuisine. Casual Japanese and Korean shops selling small portions and strong drinks are catching on as a popular dining trend in the United States, especially in trend-forward, fast-casual restaurants.

Stage 2 trends include ancient grains, which appeal to the growing number of consumers with food allergies or gluten intolerances. Adding ancients grains to snacks like cookies, crackers, chips or bars offers product manufacturers a chance to stand out with unique textures and flavor profiles in familiar snack places. Indian-inspired snacks are also a growing trend in this stage. India is a snack central for street-inspired small bites and American consumers are taking notice. Across the U.S., food trucks, pop-up restaurants and brick-and-mortar shops are serving traditional Indian foods as well as innovative Indian-inspired foods.

Stage 3 involves Sicilian arancini, a cousin to foods like fried cheese sticks, croquettes and other styles of fried appetizers. Arancini's Italian heritage and familiar base ingredients, like melted cheese, make them a snack favorite for kids, teenagers and indulgence-prone snackers of any age. The inclusion of toothsome rice with fried breading and cheese fillings turn this snack into a meal-like fried starter, showing restaurants and frozen food manufacturers how to change up fillings for line of traditional Italian flavors.

Stage 5 trends include Mexican takis, a fried, rolled corn tortilla chip offered in a variety of flavors. This crunchy Mexican snack has been a favorite of teens who crave its spicy-salty taste. Takis are entering the mainstream snack arena, inspiring intensely flavored imitations from Frito-Lay and private label producers. Pistachios are also a trend in the stage 5 category. With an impressive nutrient profile, pistachios appear in a variety of snack types, both sweet and savory. The green-colored nut stands out as a global ingredient, showing up in recipes and food products with their native Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian roots re-vivified.

For more information on culinary trends visit the article Fruit Trends Drive Food, Beverage Products.

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