Consumer Palates Grow More Adventurous

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Restaurants are learning to cater to an increasingly savvy and open-minded crowd.

Restaurants have their work cut out for them, as consumers become more and more knowledgeable about food and eager to try new things. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Forecast report, nine out of 10 restaurants have observed that their patrons are paying more attention to food quality and trying things outside their comfort zones.

Annika Stensson is the director of research communications for the National Restaurant Association. She points out that,

"As dining out has grown into an everyday activity over the last few decades, we essentially have become a generation of 'foodies' with a much wider base of experience and trial of new cuisines and flavors than previous generations. Growth of international travel and increased diversity of cuisines offered here at home have driven today's diners to be more adventurous and generally more willing to try new things when dining out."

According to the NRA’s research, 64 percent of consumers feel that their own palates have evolved to make them more adventurous, even as compared to just two years ago. It’s even more true among millennials, 77 percent of whom consider themselves to be more adventurous when it comes to cuisine.

The good news for restaurants is that 72 percent of consumers don’t feel like they can replicate the flavors they crave at home, especially when it comes to international food categories. Restaurant owners who are purveyors of ethnic cuisine have a great opportunity now to expand their clientele. And other restaurants can and should explore ways to bring global flavors and dishes into their own menus.

Looking for more ways to cater to consumers’ tastes as foodie culture goes mainstream? Check out our blog post on how fast casual restaurants can stay competitive in today’s adventurous food scene.

Full Story: American palates growing more adventurous