Canadian Pizza Magazine

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Survey says Canadian chains missing ethnic menu opportunities


September 13, 2012
By Canadian Pizza


Sept. 13, 2012, Canada – Consumers may not have the means to travel the
world, but that hasn't dampened their desire to experience new ethnic cuisines.

Unfortunately, chain restaurants aren't meeting current
consumer demand for new foods and flavours, according to a recent survey from Technomic. Only a quarter of consumers polled say they are satisfied with the availability of
ethnic offerings at limited-service (22 per cent) and full-service (24 per cent)
chains, which translates into opportunities for operators to differentiate
their menus and gain market share with globally-inspired offerings.

“Authenticity is crucial to the ethnic food and beverage purchasing decision”
says executive vice president Darren Tristano in a press release. “Sixty-six
per cent of consumers say food that tastes authentic is one of the most
important factors in deciding which establishment to visit for ethnic foods and
beverages. Operators have an opportunity to create innovative and globally
inspired menu items reflected through preparation, taste and flavour. Consumers
also say that dishes prepared by someone from that region are given greater
credibility as authentic.”

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To help operators and others aligned with the foodservice industry more
effectively understand consumer behaviour, definitions, preferences and
attitudes towards ethnic flavours and cuisines, Technomic developed the
Canadian
Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report
.

Interesting findings include:

-Eight out of 10 consumers aged 18-44 (79 percent) order
ethnic foods away from home at least once a month, compared to just 60 per cent
of consumers aged 45 and older.

-Data indicates that operators do not necessarily have to
menu ethnic items to appeal to consumers looking for ethnic options. Nearly two
of out five consumers (36 per cent), and 43 per cent of consumers aged 18-34,
agree that they enjoy dishes that integrate ethnic flavours and ingredients
into traditional cuisines and items.

-Two-fifths of respondents (42 per cent) indicate that they
prefer ethnic foods and flavours that are completely authentic.

-Three-quarters of consumers (75 per cent) eat ethnic fare
instead of traditional foods because they are looking for something different,
and two-thirds (67 per cent) say they do so to discover new flavours.


Technomic’s Canadian
Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report
examines consumer
behaviour, attitudes and preferences toward ethnic flavours, foods and
beverages based on survey results from 1,000 Canadian consumers.