Where in the world are we looking for meal inspiration?
World cuisine offerings are expanding with an ever-growing range of flavours and meal options available throughout foodservice and grocery retail outlets. Have our tastes or behaviours been changing here in Britain and from what areas of the world do popular cuisines originate?
Mintel reported that 88% of Brits have eaten at least one world cuisine at home (three months to November 2016, excludes takeaways), demonstrating it’s a popular meal choice for British consumers. Chinese and Indian are most commonly eaten, with Mexican (also Tex-Mex), Thai, American and Caribbean cuisines also becoming increasingly popular. Kantar Worldpanel usage data shows that GB consumers are turning to dish-based meals rather than traditional meat and two veg, which supports rising demand for world cuisines, which often suit a dish format.
Despite their appeal, some barriers remain for in-home preparation. Some qualities which attract consumers to eating world cuisines can also be off-putting when cooking at home, according to Mintel’s research. For example, some can be deterred by uncertainty around flavour or spiciness. This can be further exaggerated by other factors, like long lists of unfamiliar ingredients which can cause some consumers to feel unsure about what they are buying. The impact of these concerns has been tackled through the development of simple and convenient products, such as ready meals, cooking sauces and meal accompaniments. This type of product development has helped to make world cuisines more accessible to consumers and is thought to be a significant contributor to growth.
World cuisines have become a staple part of the British menu and it appears likely that our interest in world cuisines is here to stay. Increased marketing activity has already been seen to mark key festival and religious dates in grocery retailers, emphasising their recognition of the value in this category. With the success of convenient products and appetite for variety in our everyday meal choices, it seems likely that this is a category where we will continue to see growth. Understanding popular dishes from each cuisine style and their component ingredients could provide an opportunity for red meat to be included in world cuisine recipes, if not already featured.
To read more about world cuisines, click here.
Emily Beardshaw, Consumer Insight Analyst
Emily.Beardshaw@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8756