Global Food Trends

Using the Flavors of the World to Build Your Bridge to Local Sales Success

It used to be that the average American family’s interest in exploring the world of global cuisine basically boiled down to what pizza toppings they could all agree on. The rise of social media however has since opened a window to an entire world of global flavors that many never even knew existed.  Today, savvy shoppers are seeking niche ingredients that help them create the authentic cuisine and regional flavors they crave. Affinity Group is here with the inside scoop on the global food trends that will help you drive sales and build your customer base.

Hear from our experts:

Craving Old World Tradition

Today’s consumers feel that they’re consuming far more than food. They now see food as culture. The good news for retailers is that shoppers educated about regional ingredients and flavors will often pay more for an authentic product. They care about where an ingredient comes from because they believe these ingredients have stood the test of time.

Regionality is particularly important in Italy. In addition to local olive oils, shoppers are interested in local parmesan cheeses, preserves and other items. There’s also a demand for gourmet pastas made from ancient grains. Today’s consumer understands that they aren’t just buying “parmesan” they’re purchasing centuries of cheese-making tradition. In 2020, U.S. Italian food imports totaled close to $3.2 billion.

Appetite for Authentic Asian

Much like Italian cuisine, Asian food has long been popular in the United States. Recently though, consumer interest has begun to go far beyond the General Tso’s chicken available at their local Chinese takeout spot. They’re much more open to a wide array of flavor profiles. Whether cooking at home or buying prepared entrées, shoppers want everything from traditional fruits and spices to condiments and specific rice varieties.

Creating an Asian aisle in your retail space that is very specific is a great way to cater to consumer demand. Choices should include options like locally produced fresh ramen, frozen coconut chicken and miso broths, Thai rice noodles, various curries, sushi vinegar, and seasoned rice vinegar. Also getting attention are authentic soy sauces, sushi rice, boldly flavored Chinese chives and yuzu. Yuzu is a tart, fragrant fruit that’s like a cross between a lime and a grapefruit, and works great for boosting flavor profiles and creating a multisensory experience.

In desserts, Asian ice creams are trending. They include mochi, which is a Japanese invention containing rice flour, as well as an ice cream that combines Taiwanese boba with chewy tapioca pearls.

Bring the Heat

Hot peppers from cultures across the globe are increasing in popularity. Appearing both on their own as well as ingredients in condiments and other foods, these peppers are more than just hot. They offer a complex flavor profile that combines a spicy heat with other unique nuances.  Calabrian chiles, for example, have a spicy, mildly fruity taste and aroma, adding color and medium-spicy heat.

A World of Resources

It’s clear that learning about new cuisines and recreating them at home is becoming a passion that is helping drive the retail grocery market. According to recent data, approximately” 40% of U.S. shoppers are spending more on their average grocery store trip than pre-pandemic, and 48% are actively looking to recreate dishes they’ve seen online or in restaurants at home.

At Affinity Group, our expertise in retail consumer trends is always here to help your keep your business moving forward. Our highly trained team are specialists in the operational challenges of today. When your ready to Build Your Bridge to Local Success, Affinity Group is ready to help.