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People willing to pay more for new flavours


October 22, 2009
By Canadian Pizza

October 22, 2009, U.S. – A new study from Technomic finds that consumers are interested in expanding their palates when dining out and want to frequent restaurants that offer innovative flavours.

The study finds that 42 per cent of consumers, particularly males aged 25 to 34, are more likely to visit restaurants that offer new or unique flavours.
 
The "2009 Flavour Consumer Trend Report" was designed to identify opportunities for restaurant operators and suppliers and help them differentiate their menus to attract new patrons and increase frequency of current customers. The report covers flavours created during food preparation as well as those added through sauces, dips and condiments. Individual flavour profiles are explored, as is how they relate to major entrée categories, appetizers, beverages, snacks and desserts.
 
Findings include:

•    Two-thirds of consumers say that discovering a new flavour at a restaurant can persuade them to return to that venue for the same dish, and more than half (55 per cent) say they may try other dishes there.
•    A substantial portion of diners (36 per cent) say they are more interested in trying new flavours than they were a year ago.
•    Over a third of consumers (35 per cent) are willing to spend more on a meal that incorporates new or innovative flavours.
•    Among less broadly established ethnic cuisines, those of high interest include Spanish (72 per cent), Hawaiian (71 per cent), Tex-Mex (69 per cent), Greek (66 per cent), and Caribbean and Mediterranean (66 and 62 per cent, respectively).
•    Roughly one-third of consumers look for sauces and condiments that are low in fat or calories (34 per cent) and sodium (29 per cent), or prefer to use organic or "all-natural" condiments when available (26 per cent).
•    Garlic, pepper and smoky barbecue flavour profiles dominate entrée menus. Global influences are also prominent, specifically those with a Mexican, Asian and Italian flair.

"Flavour innovation presents a solid competitive advantage for both operators and manufacturers, especially when it comes to dips, sauces, condiments and marinades," said Darren Tristano of Technomic. "The punch of heat and spice, and the balance of creaminess or sweetness, underscores the uniqueness in the preparation. An unusual flavour profile could be one that drives repeat visits by consumers."

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