The recent MediaPost article titled, "Look for Ethnic Comestibles to Find Way into American Hands," cites some very interesting developments for specialty foods. As the article explains, "Americans my be the kings and queens of hand-held foods–burgers, sandwiches, pizza–but their tastes will be increasingly fed by more international cuisines.
According to the CCD’s most-recent "Culinary Trend Mapping" report (published jointly with Packaged Facts), Americans are likely to move toward seeking out and eating hand-held foods that have more of an ethnic flair, in part as a reflection of a diversifying culture. The trends, which include fare such as Indian dosas, Chinese baos and Latin American empanadas, are starting to emerge in urban areas and university cafeterias, says CCD trendologist Kara Nielsen.
"[University] food service centers cater to ethnically diverse people who cross-pollinate," Nielsen tells Marketing Daily. "As these young people get out of college, they’ll be looking for [these foods] in regular life."
The more ethnic foods, such as dosas and baos, are still considered an emerging trend that could take some time to develop, perhaps as long as
five years, Nielsen says. But she notes that food trends are moving from the ethnic fringe to the mainstream at an ever-increasing pace. ‘The general American’s knowledge of food has increased exponentially,’ she says. ‘Immigrants are landing everywhere. Things are moving faster than they were 10 or 15 years ago.’"
The article also speaks to the exciting implications for grocery stores, positing, "As a treat, the report predicts Mexican paletas, which are frozen pops made from fresh fruit or vegetables, mixed with spices, water or milk and maybe some sugar, to be a growing category. Early adopters, such as foodies, bloggers and reporters are keen on their freshness and unusual flavors, Nielsen says. While the trend is still considered very nascent, Nielsen notes that paleta chains and distributors are already branching out beyond their traditional Latin areas. ‘You’re starting to get options in grocery stores,’ Nielsen says."