Canadian Pizza Magazine

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Technomic reports on Canadian flavour trends


December 2, 2011
By Canadian Pizza

December 2, 2011, Canada – Current market forces are making craveability and culinary expertise
increasingly relevant to Canadians, many of whom say they are more
interested in experiencing new flavours as they dine out, a new
Technomic reports.

"There is only so much you can do with pricing until your profit margins disappear. So you have to look at other ways to differentiate your brand," said Technomic executive vice-president Darren Tristano. "Incorporating unique flavours into existing menus can be a low-cost and easy way to grow sales and attract new customers. In our newest study, 36 percent of consumers said they are more interested in trying new and unique flavours, compared to a year ago. So keeping the focus on food taste and flavour is a powerful long-term strategy."

To keep a pulse on flavour trends infused during food preparation as well as those added through sauces, dips and condiments, Technomic has developed the 2011 Canadian Flavour Consumer Trend Report.

Interesting findings include:

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  • Of consumers surveyed, 49 per cent said they would be more likely to visit a restaurant that offers new or innovative flavours, up from 33 per cent of those surveyed in a 2009 study.
  • It's no surprise that classic Italian flavours dominate the pizza landscape. But a look at the menus of emerging limited- and full-service pizza chains reveals that sweet, hot, smoky, spicy and fruity flavour profiles are also top flavour varieties for pizza, helping to differentiate signature offerings.
  • Almost three out of four consumers (74 per cent) say that preparation style is an appealing way for restaurants to add flavour to their food. Year-over-year data suggests that flavours imparted by preparation style have increased in popularity by 4 per cent between 2009 and 2011.
  • Flavours imparted by spreads, sauces or condiments that come with food are appealing to 53 per cent of consumers, a 7 per cent increase from those surveyed in 2009. This indicates an opportunity for continued development of signature house-prepared sauces and spreads.

Technomic's 2011 Canadian Flavour Consumer Trend Report examines flavour preferences, attitudes and purchasing behavior based on survey results from more than 1,000 consumers.

The firm uses its exclusive MenuMonitor trend-tracking tool to provide an in-depth look at how leading, independent and emerging chain operators are incorporating top flavour profiles into menu items.

Along with major entree categories, the report contains in-depth explorations of beverage, dessert, snack and appetizer dip flavour preferences.