Canadian chain restaurants missing out on ethnic menu opportunities, says Technomic

CHICAGO, Sept. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - 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. Only a quarter of consumers polled for a recent Technomic survey say they are satisfied with the availability of ethnic offerings at limited-service (22 percent) and full-service (24 percent) 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, "Sixty-six percent 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."

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 percent 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 percent), and 43 percent 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 percent) indicate that they prefer ethnic foods and flavours that are completely authentic.
  • Three-quarters of consumers (75 percent) eat ethnic fare instead of traditional foods because they are looking for something different, and two-thirds (67 percent) 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. The Ethnic Cuisine Trends section provides a comprehensive guide to the trends that continue to shape ethnic flavours and foods.

To purchase or learn more about this report please visit or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Press Inquiries: Darren Tristano, 312-506-3850, or
Purchasing Details: Patrick Noone, 312-506-3852, or
Report Details: Kelly Weikel, 312-506-3830, or

About Technomic
Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.


SOURCE: Technomic

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