Hot, Hot, Hot--Our Global Appetite for Ethnic Food Seems Insatiable

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The latest management briefing from looks into the global market for ethnic foods.

The latest management briefing from has identified ethnic foods as one of the global food industry's key growth sectors.

Although well established in the US, the ethnic foods market has recently expanded by more than 5% per annum. In Europe, growth of two to three times this rate has been recorded. As developed nations become increasingly cosmopolitan and consumers continue to experiment with new flavours, the potential for future growth also appears considerable.

Authenticity and provenance are major trends. Research has shown that consumers are now reading packaging to ensure that ingredients mirror those used locally. James Bennett, head of marketing at Mexican food manufacturer Discovery Foods underlined the point, confirming that "authenticity remains high on the ethnic food shopper's list of requirements. Our seasoning mixes contain herbs, spices, salt and pepper blended in the country of origin."

Extending brands to exploit potential

Another interesting development has been the deployment of brand extension strategies. Sharwood's, a major name in the UK, has successfully launched naan breads, chutneys, savoury snacks and dips to accompany its core range of cooking sauces. Puppodums are now the company's best selling product.

Health and innovation the ones to watch

The effects of the healthy living trend are also being felt. Ready meals are a key component of the ethnic foods market and in Western Europe, 2005 sales exceeded US$15 billion. This said, it is now clear that flavour and healthy options are playing increasingly important roles in the decision making process.

Innovation is also essential to future growth. 'Fusion foods' combining different dishes are already emerging rapidly whilst global new product launches were most prevalent in the German foods segment between 2004 and 2006. The prospects for Malaysian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai and Caribbean dishes also look exceptionally positive.

The management briefing is one of more than 50 available free to just-food members. Monthly briefings published in the last year have reviewed EU legislation, the key issues of 2006, China, whole and natural foods, global GI-diets, the suspension of WTO talks, functional food companies, key trends to 2012, demographics, European trends and foodservice. Members also benefit from having unrestricted access to as many as 20 stories, articles and features a day and can choose to receive personalised alerts and news feeds. Further details on the World Cuisine briefing are available at whilst details of just-food membership can be viewed at


1. About the briefing

'World Cuisine: NPD and marketing trends to 2013' provides ethnic food market values for the US, UK and Europe from 2003 - 2013. It examines the highlights of last year's World Food Market, NPD trends, ready meals, the 'seniors' market, healthy options and future growth strategies.

2. About just-food

Since 2001, has provided daily news and analysis on the global food industry. Today, just-food is the authoritative and timely source of business information and is the food industry's leading online resource.


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Richard Jackson
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