3 ways to feed consumers’ hunger for global flavors

Adding unique flavors to menus is as easy as 1-2-3
Photograph: Shutterstock

Consumers are on a never-ending culinary quest for authentic global flavors, and they’re willing to pay for them.

According to Technomic’s 2018 Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer TrendReport, 32% of consumers are willing to pay extra for authentic ethnic fare, 44% always prefer completely authentic fare, and 23% say their preference changes based on the cuisine. Additionally, 36% like to explore regional varieties of mainstream ethnic cuisines to try new foods and flavors. 

Operators who want to raise the bar to drive traffic and sales can meet consumer demand for these global flavors with three easy offerings. Check out these tips below.

Creative condiments

One innovative way to infuse global flavors into a menu is to offer signature dips and sauces that can complement existing menu items. Condiments can vary widely, from authentic options such as piri-piri and tamarind chutney to mashups such as curry mustard or wasabi mayonnaise. Offering tableside condiments also gives individualized portion control to diners looking to put ethnic spins to their meal.


Creating monthly or weekly limited-time offers (LTOs) that highlight different global cuisines helps retain existing customers searching for new flavors and captures the attention of new customers. For example, feature globally-inspired breakfast items for one month and then try menuing global flavors in kids’ meals the next. Or, create a three-course dinner featuring a specific ethnic region’s cuisine.

Familiar proteins with a global twist

Most people can’t resist a perfectly grilled medium-rare T-bone, but they more than likely won’t order a steak every time they go out to eat. Consumers still want protein, but they are more willing to experiment with healthier, preservative-free choices such as chicken. According to Technomic’s 2019 Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report, 44% of consumers say they would be interested in trying chicken entrees made with new or unique flavors and sauces. The most popular flavors of chicken dishes that consumers would order include savory, tangy, spicy, ethnic and smoky.

With its popularity, low cost and flavor adaptability, chicken is a versatile item. Operators want to increase chicken options on their menus and are always looking for unique ways to incorporate ethnic flavors. Take Tyson® Precision Cooked™ Chicken, for example, which utilizes the French sous-vide style of cooking.

The benefits of fully-cooked, All-Natural* and antibiotic-free chicken include giving operators the flexibility to add their own signature flavor for maximum versatility. Plus, it works across the menu in any application where premium chicken is needed. Additionally, it provides operators and customers with consistently tender chicken and elevated performance with no additional training or equipment, and it speeds up and eases preparation and reduces food safety concerns.

Check out these three menu innovations that meet consumer demand for global flavors using Tyson® Precision Cooked™ Chicken, then use that inspiration to create unique, signature menu items:

  • A Thai shareable appetizer using lettuce cups is filled with shredded Portioned Chicken Breast, carrot, cilantro pepper slaw, seeded cucumber, sriracha and nuts or toasted sesame seeds and is garnished with scallion rings.
  • An Indian Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich puts a new twist on a classic chicken salad sandwich and features creamy yellow curry salad made with Chicken Thighs, celery, red onions, red grapes and toasted pecans and is served inside a croissant with greens.
  • A Mediterranean shareable appetizer or entree built on an artisan crust with Ready-to-Pull Chicken Thighs is dressed in pesto and topped with feta, capers, pepperoncini rings, roasted artichoke hearts, cherry tomato halves, herbs, red onion and lacy mozzarella.


*Minimally processed, no artificial ingredients

This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc.


Exclusive Content


Podcast transcript: Virtual Dining Brands co-founder Robbie Earl

A Deeper Dive: What is the future of digital-only concepts? Earl discusses their work to ensure quality and why focusing on restaurant delivery works.


In the fast-casual sector, Chipotle laps Panera Bread

The Bottom Line: The two fast-casual restaurant pioneers have diverged over the past five years, as the burrito chain has thrived while Panera hit a wall. Here's why.


How Chick-fil-A's shift on antibiotic-free chicken signals an industry evolution

Chick-fil-A was a No Antibiotics Ever brand, but now its standards are more in line with KFC and others. Will consumers understand the nuanced difference?