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Meat Conference 2016: Don’t call it 'ethnic'

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Given changes in demographics and consumer tastes, retailers should think of multicultural cuisines in a much more nuanced way, according to a presentation on “Consumer Trends Driving Meat Innovation.”

According to Jack Li, managing director, Datassential, 47% of Generation Z and 42% of Millennials come from multicultural backgrounds, compared to 28% of Boomers.

“A small change in the multicultural population can have a very, very large impact on what tastes and preferences are,” said Li.

Perhaps not surprisingly, younger generations have much more interest in multicultural cuisines. A quarter of Gen Zers have an interest in Indian food vs. 11% of Boomers, Datassential found. For Vietnamese food, the level of interest is 23% of Gen Zers vs. 8% of Boomers.

Thanks largely to trends in foodservice like food trucks and micro-restaurants, younger age groups choose meals based on specific menu items rather than cuisines.

“We think that consumers more and more are not going to think in terms of these giant buckets anymore and they’re going to think more in terms of very specific items that drive craveability,” said Li.

For example, instead of Mexican food, consumers may say they want tacos, or they may crave chicken parmesan instead of Italian food.

Retailers should take advantage of these trends by highlighting applications for products based on specific dishes, Li said.

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Contributors

Don Cuppett

Don Cuppett Jr. is content production director for Supermarket News, a Penton Media publication.

Liz Webber

Liz Webber is Senior Digital Manager at Supermarket News. She covers fresh foods for the magazine and creates multimedia, blog posts and other content for the website. She joined SN in August 2012.
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