More and more consumers crave bold and original flavors in their food choices — but younger people crave them a lot more than their elders do.
Forty-five percent of those polled by Chicago-based market research firm Technomic say they crave bold flavors, up from 41 percent in 2015.
In its recently released “2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report,” Technomic also found that 42 percent of consumers expect restaurants to offer signature flavors they can’t get elsewhere.
Desire for bold flavors, however, varies widely based on demographics. Millennials, for instance, are twice as likely as baby boomers to order ethnic foods at least once a week, according to the study. And while Gen Xers and millennials continue to drive demand for unique flavors, more and more baby boomers are choosing to forgo them.
“The growing divide in flavor preferences between millennials and boomers heightens the need for a product mix that appropriately balances familiarity and innovation,” says Kelly Weikel, Technomic’s director of consumer insights. “Creating a small twist on classic recipes with flavors that particularly appeal to boomers, such as smoky flavors, can provide an element of uniqueness without going too far out of their comfort zone.”