Consumer appetite for flavor exploration has persisted during the global pandemic. QSR menus and product launches indicate regional cuisine has increased in popularity and will be a major trend to watch in 2021 as consumers crave a sense of adventure in food and drink.
A Mintel survey shows 87% of consumers display interest in regional BBQ flavors with potato chip brands creating Southern-inspired flavors like Route 11’s Habanero-BBQ blend and Lay’s Sweet Southern Heat BBQ. Whole Foods features two variations of Kansas City Style BBQ sauce while dairy-free Daiya debuted their Tex-Mex Burritos.
Recreating nostalgic experiences drives regional flavors as Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream brings the state fair to consumers with flavors like Watermelon Taffy and Sun-Popped Corn. Enlightened added to their keto collection with Classic and Strawberry New York Style Cheesecakes and beachy key lime makes waves across categories as seen in Shelia G’s Brownie Brittle and So Delicious Pairings.
QSR menus invite consumers to taste ethnic flavors like California Pizza’s Kitchen’s globally inspired pizza menu that features Thai Chicken and Carne Asada Pizza. Panera’s bowl meals include both Mediterranean and Spanish-style cuisine while Juice It Up taps into Latin American flavors with their Horchata and Chili Lime Mango Smoothies.
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