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Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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The competitive game of World Cuisines

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2018 \ June \ The competitive game of World Cuisines

World cuisines are a vast and expanding market impacting consumer cooking habits but, more often than not, the Foodservice world first. As the hype of the World Cup starts, let’s look at which eating-out cuisines have legs, which are being knocked out and which may qualify in the future.

The retail market for world cuisines, including ready meals, cooking sauces and accompaniments/ingredients, grew by 4% in 2017, to a value of £1.64 billion (Source -Mintel, World Cuisines, UK -Feb 2018). Improved ranges and convenient offerings are making world cuisines a more attractive option at home as they mitigate uncertainty around ingredients and cooking methods.

However, the current retail market is still dominated by a few major cuisine types, namely Indian, and Chinese. Yet, according to research by Mintel, interest in eating other world cuisines is much higher than current usage, highlighting an opportunity for brands and retailers.

Foodservice experiences are vital to build familiarity and confidence in trying new world dishes at home. Therefore, what we see trending in Foodservice indicates what consumers may want to see in retail. Foodservice itself is a substantial part of the market contributing to approximately 18% of protein (beef, pork and lamb) sales volumes in the UK (Source - AHDB Foodservice Report, 52 w/e June 2017).

As we approach the start of the World Cup, what better time to look at current eating out cuisine habits in the UK. So let’s start with the current standings:

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However, of more interest is how these standings are evolving.

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Not featuring in the current eating-out rankings but warming up behind the scenes, are:

  1. Food from West African countries making waves in street food (e.g. Chale!) and fine dining (e.g. Ikoyi). The concept is ‘slow foods’ such as stews and soups, which involve fresh or smoked fish, crab, goat, chicken or beef cooked with ingredients such as palm fruits, tomatoes, coconut, ginger and melon seeds, resulting in a healthy dish full of flavour.
  2. Venezuelan food is the latest South American cuisine to make a splash in the restaurant scene. An example is Arepa & Co where cornbread, maize, black beans, fried plantain, avocado, cassava, shredded beef, pork loin and roasted vegetables are the core of the kitchen.
  3. Also coming out of South America is Peruvian cuisine (e.g. Ceviche) with traditional staples being corn, potatoes, Amaranthaceaes (quinoa, kañiwa and kiwicha) and legumes (beans and lupins).

Source: MCA Menu & Food Trends Report Q1 2018 vs Q1 2017


Understanding what dishes consumers are eating out of home (and, potentially, in the future in home) provides an opportunity to identify areas for processors and retailers to innovate offerings and inspire world cuisine recipes that incorporate a variety of different foods.

Click here to read more about consumer trends in world cuisines.

Kim Malley, Senior Analyst- Consumer Insight

Kim.Malley@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8852