People’s palates are growing more adventurous, according to a new survey from the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Restaurant.org reports that researchers who queried 1,011 American adults about their eating habits found that two-thirds are enjoying a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago. Nine out of 10 have tried Italian, Mexican and Chinese cuisine, which are the most popular global flavors. However, people are also consuming more Mediterranean, Thai and Middle Eastern dishes.
“The typical consumer today is becoming more adventurous and sophisticated when it comes to different cuisines and flavors,” notes NRA director of research communication Annika Stensson.
Millennials Have More Adventurous Taste Buds
The trend to more adventurous eating may be led by millennials, who as a group tend to be more open minded than other demographic groups when it comes to food choices. Twice as many people between the ages of 18 and 44 report consuming ethnic food at least four times per month, compared to those age 65 and older.
This information provides some food for thought for planners. Instead of serving up the same old bland chicken or fish entrée at events, they may want to spice things up with some more intriguing F&B offerings, especially more unusual ethnic dishes. Food trucks could be a good option, as 65 percent of the respondents in the NRA study agree that they are a great way to explore ethnic cuisine.