Global consumers crave foreign fare, handmade care

Global tastes are diverse and nowhere is that more prevalent than in the kitchens and dining rooms of homes all around the world.

January 18, 2013

Global tastes are diverse and nowhere is that more prevalent than in the kitchens and dining rooms of homes all around the world. When asked about their interest in a variety of unique food products to be eaten at home, global consumers indicated a wide array of interests, reflective of increased accessibility to food options as well as a broader acceptance of different types of food. These are the latest findings of a study conducted by Ipsos InnoQuest.

“We live in a world of greater food choice, with a heavier emphasis on health, freshness, and variety. But that also means that consumers are more willing to experiment with different types of foods, including some that might be considered unique or foreign to their traditional family meals,” said Lauren Demar, Global CEO, Ipsos InnoQuest. “Our most recent study on the topic found that globally, consumers are most interested in foods from different regions and cultures as well as artisanal foods which have a handmade quality.”

When asked about their interests for at-home dining and food preparation, overall, global consumers expressed a keen interest in a number of food types:

  • 45% expressed interest in foods from different regions or cultures
  • 44% stated an interest in artisanal foods
  • 41% expressed a desire for retro or vintage foods

Do-it-yourself food kits and restaurant brands found in grocery stores met with lukewarm response, with 36% and 23% of global consumers expressing interest, respectively. And, despite the current trend of celebrity chefs putting their names on products from canned soup to pasta sauces to marinades, only 17% of global consumers showed an interest in food products by famous chefs.

Not surprisingly, different at-home dining options find their hot spots in different markets. Foods from different regions or cultures draw the most interest from consumers in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany (70%, 61%, and 60%, respectively), while artisanal foods gain the most attention from consumers in Italy, Poland, and Sweden (70%, 69%, and 69%, respectively). For products associated with famous chefs, they are bound to get more traction in India, China, and Singapore (37%, 29%, and 29%, respectively) where a larger percentage of respondents indicated an interest in such products.

“The varying levels of interest in packaged food options indicate that what may be exotic in one part of the world, may be rather pedestrian in another,” said Demar. “For food marketers looking to develop new ideas and launch products in new markets, it is essential that they identify the size of the opportunity early on, taking into consideration local tastes, eating patterns, and customs.”

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