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Ethnic Trends in Restaurants - US - October 2014

Published By :

Mintel

Published Date : Oct 2014

Category :

Hotels & Restaurants

No. of Pages : 131 Pages

The ethnic foods operator is caught between trying to offer authentically ethnic foods while catering to an audience that wants to exert control over every aspect of their dining experience. Consumers indicate they are looking for new food experiences, but are anxious about not knowing enough about a menu item’s more exotic or unusual ingredients. Using the menu and service team to educate consumers about ethnic ingredients and components can help with familiarity and make diners comfortable enough to want to try something new.
Table of Content

Scope and Themes

What you need to know
Definition
Data sources
Mintel Menu Insights
Consumer qualitative research
Consumer survey data
Abbreviations and terms
Abbreviations
Terms

Executive Summary

The percentage of full- and limited-service ethnic restaurants is growing
Figure 1: Principal menu type, full- and limited-service restaurants, 2002-2012
A focus on new flavor experiences and health draws consumers to ethnic foods
Figure 2: US Per capita availability of fresh vegetables, 1970-2012
Expanding ethnic populations fuel a growing interest in ethnic foods
Eating ethnic foods at home saves money and time
For many, trying new ethnic flavors is a risky business
Figure 3: Trial drivers of ethnic items, August 2014
Households with children are more open to trying different types of ethnic and fusion foods
Figure 4: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by presence of children in household, August 2014
Those aged 25-34 are more open to ethnic combinations than those 55+
Figure 5: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by age, August 2014
Customization key to enticing consumers to trial
Figure 6: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, August 2014
What we think

Issues and Insights

How to entice less adventurous consumers to try new ethnic dishes?
The issues
The implications
Does the authenticity of an ethnic food really matter?
The issues
The implications
How to compete with products people cook at home?

Trend Applications

Trend: Make It Mine
Trend: Sense of the Intense
Trend: Why Buy

Market Data

Key points
The number of ethnic concepts in the US is growing
Figure 7: Principal menu type, full- and limited-service restaurants, 2002-2012
Figure 8: Principal menu type, full-service restaurants, 2002-2012
Figure 9: Principal menu type, limited-service restaurants, 2002-2012

Market Drivers

Key points
The US population is eating more vegetables
Figure 10: US Per capita availability of fresh vegetables, 1970-2012
The US population is more multicultural
figure 11: Total US population growth trends, by race and Hispanic origin, 2009, 2014, and 2019
Certain ethnic cuisines help more with weight management
Figure 12: American adults, by weight category, as determined by body mass index (BMI), 2008-14
Consumer confidence still shaky
Figure 13: Consumer confidence index, January 2004-March 2014

Innovations and Innovators

Ethnic foods operators appeal to adventurers seeking bold flavors, and heat
Appealing to consumers through healthier menu items
Positioning ethnic foods and flavors as a good value

Competitive Context

Key points
Consumers save money by eating regularly at home, and the quality of retail foods is getting better
American foods-themed restaurants offering more ethnic foods
Food trucks often offer ethnic street foods, and inspiration

Marketing Strategies

Overview
Catering to those who love spicy and hot flavor profiles
American concepts offering ethnic flavors
Ethnic restaurants mix ingredients and flavors from different ethnicities
Ethnic restaurants highlight healthier preparations
Ethnic concepts use promotions to gain consumer loyalty
Ethnic restaurants promote their participation in charitable causes

Menu Analysis

Key points
Ethnic flavors appearing in both ethnic and nonethnic concepts
American concepts offering ethnically flavored foods
Ethnic restaurants offering foods with an American twist

Consumer Data – Overview

Familiarity of ingredients important to consumers
Figure 14: Experience with ethnic cuisines, August 2014
Figure 15: Trial drivers of ethnic items, August 2014
Use of native ingredients and ethnicity of restaurant owners affect perceptions of authenticity
Figure 16: Authenticity of ethnic items, August 2014
Figure 17: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Gender

Key points
Men are more willing to try different ethnic cuisines than women
Figure 18: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by gender, August 2014
Figure 19: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Tried and would again, by gender, August 2014
Figure 20: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by gender, August 2014
Women judge quality on several factors, while men focus on homemade qualities
Figure 21: Authenticity of ethnic items, by gender, August 2014
Men more likely to try spicy dishes than women; women like the variety ethnic dishes provide
Figure 22: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by gender, August 2014
Figure 23: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by gender, August 2014
Women show more interest than men in Asian and African cuisines
Figure 24: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Not tried and interested, by gender, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Age

Key points
Those in 65+ age group prefer mainstream ethnic cuisines; those aged 18-24 are more adventurous
Figure 25: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Tried and would again, by age, August 2014
Those aged 65+ are less flexible with definition of ethnic foods
Figure 26: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by age, August 2014
Figure 27: Authenticity of ethnic items, by age, August 2014
Older consumers incentivized by free samples and smaller portions
Figure 28: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by age, August 2014
Figure 29: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by age, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Generation

Key points
Younger generation values transparency and health; older values smaller portions
Figure 30: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by generations, August 2014
Experience with ethnic cuisines decreases with age
Figure 31: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by generations, August 2014
Figure 32: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Tried and would again, by generations, August 2014
Figure 33: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by generations, August 2014
Younger demos like spicy foods and more types of ethnic cuisine
Figure 34: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by generations, August 2014
Figure 35: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Not tried and interested, by generations, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Income

Key points
Interest in a variety of ethnic cuisines rises with income
Figure 36: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by household income, August 2014
Figure 37: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Tried and would again, by household income, August 2014
Higher-income groups say nonchains offer more authentic items
Figure 38: Authenticity of ethnic items, by household income, August 2014
Figure 39: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by household income, August 2014
Ethnic fusion items appeal most to highest income
Figure 40: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by household income, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Race and Hispanics

Key points
Hispanics less interested in Asian and African cuisines
Figure 41: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
Figure 42: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Tried and would again, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
Hispanics more open-minded about the definition of authenticity
Figure 43: Authenticity of ethnic items, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
Figure 44: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
Drivers to trial of ethnic items
Figure 45: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Parents

Key points
Households with kids look to exotic ingredients and menu descriptions to judge the authenticity of items
Figure 46: Authenticity of ethnic items, by presence of children in household, August 2014
Figure 47: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by presence of children in household, August 2014
Figure 48: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Tried and would again, by presence of children in household, August 2014
Those without children crave more adventurous foods than those with kids
Figure 49: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by presence of children in household, August 2014
Figure 50: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by presence of children in household, August 2014
Respondents without kids more likely to not have tried French and Korean foods, compared to those with kids
Figure 51: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Not tried and interested, by presence of children in household, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Region

Key points
Those in the West like spicy dishes, while Midwesterners like small portions of ethnic foods
Figure 52: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Tried and would again, by region, August 2014
Figure 53: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by region, August 2014
Figure 54: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by region, August 2014
Midwesterners look for authentic ingredients; those in the West are more open to trying fusion items than those in Northeast
Figure 55: Authenticity of ethnic items, by region, August 2014
Figure 56: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by region, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Area

Key points
Those in urban locations want higher-quality ingredients, while those in rural locations want free samples
Figure 57: Authenticity of ethnic items, by area, August 2014
Figure 58: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by area, August 2014
Figure 59: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by area, August 2014
Figure 60: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Not tried and interested, by area, August 2014

Consumer Data – By Repertoire Analysis

Key points
Consumers who eat more ethnic foods eat more types, and those who eat more have more stringent criteria
Figure 61: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by repertoire on reordering of ethnic cuisines, August 2014
Figure 62: Authenticity of ethnic items, by repertoire on reordering of ethnic cuisines, August 2014
Exposure to more ethnic cuisine types expands repertoire
Figure 63: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by repertoire on reordering of ethnic cuisines, August 2014

Appendix – Overview

Figure 64: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, August 2014
Figure 65: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by cuisine category for regular users – Interested, August 2014
Figure 66: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by cuisine category for regular users – Interested, August 2014
Figure 67: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by cuisine category for regular users – Interested, August 2014

Appendix – Data by Age

Figure 68: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by age, August 2014

Appendix – Data by Generation

Figure 69: Authenticity of ethnic items, by generations, August 2014
Figure 70: Behaviors and attitudes toward ethnic items, by generations, August 2014
Figure 71: Trial drivers of ethnic items, by generations, August 2014

Appendix – Data by Income

Figure 72: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Not tried and interested, by household income, August 2014
Figure 73: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by household income, August 2014

Appendix - Data by Race and Hispanics

Figure 74: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
Figure 75: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Not tried and interested, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014

Appendix – Data by Parents

Figure 76: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by presence of children in household, August 2014

Appendix – By Region

Figure 77: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by region, August 2014

Appendix – By Area

Figure 78: Perceptions of ethnic item formats, by area, August 2014
Figure 79: Experience with ethnic cuisines – Any interested, by area, August 2014

Appendix – Trade Associations

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