Emerging global cuisines are literally opening up a whole new world of culinary experiences to American consumers of all ages due to the nearly infinite range of ingredients, forms and flavors they offer, according to a new report from theCenter for Culinary Development (CCD), San Francisco, andPackaged Facts, New York, N.Y.
CCD says emerging global cuisines include Peruvian, Moroccan, Korean, Japanese and New Southern -- a regional American favorite that has recently reemerged on the national table. Driven by a host of forces, such as immigration, international travel, cooking shows, celebrity chefs and chain restaurant competition, these global foods are becoming more familiar and common.
"American consumers of all generations have always been open to global foods and to adopting them into their lifestyles," says Kimberly Egan, CCD's chief executive officer. "Now more than ever, a wider swath of global foods is adding relevance across generations -- via flavor adventure, interactive and customizable dining, and authentically healthful dishes and preparations."
Gen Y food adventures
Officials say many global cuisines offer novel interactive experiences, perfect for the open minds and thrill-seeking palates of Gen Y and anyone else looking to customize 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 can make dining memorable and fun. In addition, snacks, hand-held foods and meal kits are burgeoning must-haves for those looking to recreate favorite 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 angles
Officials say easy-to-prepare with an international flair attract Gen X families. Globally oriented but 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 healthful mini empanadas made with beans and corn, miso soup cups, and even blue French fried potatoes that add variety to after-school snacks.
New bites for Boomers
Boomers intrigued by a dose of nostalgia and the promise of healthful, flavorful meals, researchers say. The pull of nostalgia is strong for Boomers whose appetites could be whet by New Southern dishes that evoke traditional America and offer an extra twist of comfort food appeal, such as breakfast grits topped with eggs and grated cheese, Healthful global foods, such as the grain-like quinoa or the über-versatile edamame, may take longer to attract a substantial following of younger consumers, while for Boomers ready-made quinoa salads and stir-fries infused with edamame jibe with the cohorts' current wellness agenda.
CCD, Packaged Facts eye global taste trends
January 20, 2010