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Your Ticket to Culinary Travels

August 15, 2022

TAKE ME AWAY! Food and exploration have always gone hand in hand, and today’s retail and menu offerings give consumers even more opportunities to expand their culinary horizons. 

Sixty-five percent of US consumers agree that seeking out new flavors is fun for them.Foodservice operations are delivering the unique and unfamiliar, while also satisfying whims of wanderlust with cross-cultural offerings. A bakery-café chain in Hong Kong recently added a Thai-style plant-based crab cake salad to the menu, while a US-based Mediterranean fast casual chain is spicing up their traditional falafel with Spanish and Italian twists on the recipe.

Areas ideal for consumers to sample global flavors are the snack, appetizer, dessert and beverage menus. These bold, yet “low risk,” items are easy ways to introduce consumers to new flavors that cross geographical borders. For example, tahini is being added as a coffee ingredient across the States, churros have seen the highest menu penetration growth on US dessert menus over the past four years,2 and dumplings and hummus continue to be top appetizers on US menus.3
 
Not all flavor adventures stray far from home—regional recipes are taking off, too. The Italian outposts of a global QSR burger chain are focusing on just that, with specialties like the Pecorino Romano & Scamorza Burger, 'Nduja Burger and Parmigiano-Reggiano Burger adding local flair to the menu. In the US, an East Coast salad concept has debuted their “Destination California Menu” filled with regional and global flavors true to Californian culture, while a Dallas-based build-your-own-bowl chain offered the Low Country Boil Bowl, a chef-curated combination of sausage, crab, shrimp, potatoes, jalapenos, onions, and roasted corn in Old Bay Butter served over rice.
 
With unlimited inspiration from street food, comfort fare and fusion-style twists, consumers are ready and willing to travel the world with their taste buds!
 

3 TRENDS TO WATCH 



 

FORMAT FUSION:
Operators will find new ways to fill familiar formats with global flavors and vice versa to ease guests into trying new items.  

HYPER-LOCAL:
Operators will lean into specific regional flavors to differentiate and provide more nuanced offerings.    
 

ON-PREMISES EXCITEMENT:
With consumers traveling and choosing to dine in-person again, presentation is everything. Foodservice operators will showcase street-food-inspired dishes and social-media-worthy global recipes.
 

 

Segment snapshot

COMMERCIAL:
As mashups and fusion cuisine grow in popularity, unique and innovative dishes such as Italian-inspired falafel, bao bun hamburgers and affogato with Chinese fried dough strips are showing up on menus.   

NON-COMMERCIAL:
Authenticity continues to infiltrate the non-commercial space; it’s a must. In the C&U segment alone, 48% of students said they would like their school to offer more globally inspired foods and beverages.4 Contract management companies are creating celebrity chef partnerships to expand global flavors, ramen robots are assembling ramen combinations to order, and global pop-up concepts on campuses are bringing unique experiences to the traditional dining room.

PROCESSORS:
Meal kits provide the perfect solution for cooking up flavors from around the world in one’s own kitchen, while removing the need to research or source potentially unfamiliar ingredients. Processors have the opportunity to dive deeper into lesser-known cuisines and regional specialties.

 

A TASTE OF AUTHENTICITY

Adventurous consumers are the perfect audience for authentic global flavors. Join Chef Mark Serice as he demonstrates his take on a traditional Sichuan-style dish: Black Sea Bass with Douban Chili Bean Sauce. This unforgettable dish features a whole deep-fried fish smothered in a slow-simmered fermented fava bean and chili paste sauce.


 

 

culinary inspiration

Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using Griffith Foods products. 


Sichuan Black Sea Bass with Douban Chili Bean Sauce

Characteristic of the Sichuan cooking style, this eye-catching dish features a whole black sea bass, deep-fried and smothered in a fermented fava bean and chili paste. The sauce is slowly simmered with ginger, black vinegar and garlic to intensify its flavor.

Featuring: Griffith Foods Sichuan Pixian Chili Bean Sauce
 



Roasted Chickpeas with Tikka Masala Seasoning ​

Oven-roasted chickpeas make for a crunchy and satisfying snack, soup topper or salad add-on. They’re tossed in olive oil and flavored with an aromatic seasoning blend including garam masala, coriander, turmeric and chili powder.

Featuring: Griffith Foods Tikka Masala Seasoning



 



 
 

CHEF TIP

“Global cuisines provide a wealth of inspiration and excitement. When recreating an authentic dish, take the time to understand the culture and people of that country or region to respectfully appreciate the cuisine, and try to avoid substituting traditional ingredients.”

–Chef Mark Serice, Vice President Global Culinary, Griffith Foods* 
 


Culinary Expertise Around the Globe

Griffith Foods’ culinary network extends throughout five regions around the world—bringing a truly global perspective to our work. Our ability to work with authentic flavors and ingredients is unparalleled!

With a combined 190+ years of both front- and back-of-house experience, our renowned chefs know just what it takes to create exceptional flavor systems and innovative, delicious products. We can help you satisfy consumers’ appetites while expanding your bottom line.

Learn more about our approach to culinary craftsmanship.  

 

© 2022 Custom Culinary Inc. All rights reserved.
*Custom Culinary® is part of the Griffith Foods family of companies.

1 Mintel Consulting, 2022 FlavorIQ® Global Trends and Insights Report, January 2022

2 Datassential, MenuTrends Infinite accessed Aug. 9, 2022
Datassential, MenuTrends Appetizer Overview accessed Aug. 9, 2022
 4 Technomic, 2021 College & University Consumer Trend Report, May 2021; quoted by FoodserviceDirector.com, Meeting the high demand for Mexican-inspired and plant-based eats, June 2022