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Consumer interest in global foods, beverages on the rise: Technomic

Opportunity to tap interest to grow as pandemic subsides

Consumer interest in global foods and flavors is on the rise according to foodservice research firm Technomic. More consumers are trying global food and beverages than two years ago based on data found in the firm’s 2020 Global Food and Beverage Report. This presents a unique opportunity, particularly as we’re able to get control over the pandemic. During the pandemic, consumers may seek out more familiar foods.

A total of 53 percent of consumers strongly agree and somewhat agree that they are trying more global food and beverages overall (2020 vs. 2018). Fifty-five percent of Asian consumers and 60 percent of African-American/Black (non-Latino/Hispanic) strongly agree and somewhat agree that they are trying more global food and beverages. And 50 percent of non-Latino/Hispanic Whites and 62 percent of Latino/Hispanics also strongly and somewhat agreed.

Consumers will seek out new flavors and cuisines from all types of restaurants. It’s important for single- and multi-unit operators to leverage these opportunities, notes Technomic. Beyond its data, it’s evident that restaurant chains are increasingly adding excitement to their menus via dishes with global twists. The impact of global inspiration is definitely on the menu this winter.

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Zaxby’s recently launched a limited-time General Tso’s Boneless Wings meal and IHOP rolled out all-day burritos and bowls. The new General Tso’s sauce is prepared with ginger, soy and sesame, red and habanero peppers, and garlic and onion for a zesty profile. As part of a meal deal, the wings come with crinkle fries, Texas toast, and a 22-ounce fountain soda for $6.49.

IHOP introduced a line of burritos and bowls. Mexican inspired additions include Spicy Poblano Fajita, which features shredded beef, scrambled eggs, poblano & serrano peppers, red peppers & onions, shredded Jack & cheddar cheese, fresh avocado and hash browns, served in a warm flour tortilla or scrambled in a bowl. The dish is served with a side of poblano queso.

The IHOP Spicy Shredded Beef dish combines shredded beef, Poblano & Serrano peppers, red peppers & onions, shredded jack & cheddar cheese, avocado and a rice medley, served in a warm flour tortilla or layered in a bowl. It’s also served with a side of Poblano queso.

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In December, Shake Shack rolled out a gochujang-inspired, Korean-style Fried Chickn Sandwich, building on a popular combination sold in South Korea. Fast-casual chains Noodles and Company carries a line of Asian-inspired noodle bowls, including Grilled Orange Chicken Lo Mein, Japanese Pan Noodles, Spicy Korean Beef Noodles, and Pad Thai.

To learn more about the consumer survey and Technomic’s Insights Report, navigate here.

Photo credit: Louis Hansel (featured preview image)

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