Combined, the Hispanic and Asian communities now make up 22% of the U.S. population—a statistic that is having a huge impact on Americans' eating habits. Add to that the large number of additional Americans who embrace change and multicultural influences, and the result is a majority who seek out and appreciate authentic and flavor-forward global foods. This growth is paradigm shifting, states the Asian and Latin Culinary Trend Report published by Packaged Facts and CCD Innovation.
- Foods with Latin flavors, authentic pedigrees and comfort qualities will be appreciated by many segments of consumers: Long established families of Latin descent, second and third generation immigrants with a desire to tap their culinary heritage, newer immigrants or any American looking for global flavors and a bit of adventure.
- Consumers—especially Millennials—are seeking a broader spectrum of food choices within this culture. More authentic and traditional foods are increasingly important in the restaurant market.
- Serving authentically inspired regional favorites is a way to stand out from the culturally diluted offerings on menus.
- Lomo Saltado—a spicy beef stir-fry prevalent in Peru's Chinese-inspired cuisine—exhibits the unique blending of Asian and Latin influences in that country's culture. CCD Innovation's Trend Mapping technique places this in Stage 1—a trend that's just hitting the culinary scene.
- Frozen treats, like paletas and shaved ice, fall into Stage 2, while One-Bowl Meals are categorized as Stage 3. Stage 4 covers Latin-flavored marinades and spice blends and Stage 5 would encompass quickservice standards, such as burritos, that are very mainstream.