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A taste for authenticity

In recent years, consumption of ethnic foods has increased—both in and out of the home—and market researcher Mintel predicts steady future growth. Global cuisines and flavors are a constant craving for Americans. However, certain factors go into creating a successful ethnic menu.

  • Authenticity. Mintel reports that authenticity is the largest contributor to consumer choice. This means no cutting corners on ingredients, techniques and décor
  • When dining out, 80% of customers said they frequented ethnic food eateries in the month prior to the survey. This is an increase of six percentage points from 2010
  • The most popular ethnic menus in the fall quarter of 2011 were Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Pan-Asian and Japanese
  • Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food saw a robust growth in the past year and both are expected to continue to gain in popularity in the future
  • When preparing dinner at home, 63% of consumers said they cooked Mexican cuisine, 46% prepared Chinese, while 30% used mixed elements from more than one ethnic cuisine

Source: Consumers Want Ethnic Authenticity, Mintel; 2012