Industry News | September 19, 2007

Technomic's Findings from Flavor Report

In recently-published research, Technomic foodservice consultants found significant differences in flavor preferences among consumers based on age, gender, ethnicity, and region. Men, for example, like spicy flavor profiles more than women. And Asians and Hispanics are partial toward spicy foods, whereas Caucasians prefer milder flavor profiles. Among all groups, however, preference for spicy foods declines with age.

These and other findings are detailed and interpreted for restaurants in Technomic's new "Flavor Trend Category Report: Exploring Sauces, Dips, and Condiments." Based on a nationwide survey of 1,500 consumers, and supplemented with Technomic's in-depth menu and industry database, the report helps operators discover key ingredients for enhancing menu items and emerging flavor trends.

"This information should be particularly beneficial to restaurants that want to cater to their local customer base," says Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic Information Services. "By working in partnership with their food suppliers, operators can take this research and develop unique and innovative offerings with strong customer appeal without revamping their entire menu."

For example, one section of the report examines sauce options for menu entrees, including hamburgers, sandwiches, Italian entrees, Mexican entrees, steak, chicken, pork, and seafood. While some sauces are mainstream staples, consumers indicate a willingness to experiment with sauces that offer bold and unique flavor profiles. The report guides operators and food suppliers on which sauces are viewed by consumers as "everyday flavors," "opportunity flavors," and "ready-for-trial flavors" within each entree category.

Technomic's "Flavor Trend Category Report: Exploring Sauces, Dips, and Condiments" provides extensive consumer insights on flavor preferences and attitudes, regional variations, packaging, health and nutrition, customization, and detailed menu insights. Leading flavor menu items within full- and limited-service restaurants are also presented, as well as consumer demographics and profiles by flavor clusters. To purchase or learn more about the Flavor Trend Category Report, please visit

Technomic Information Services has been tracking the foodservice industry for more than 40 years, providing industry intelligence, forecasts, data, and training support to manufacturers, operators, distributors and others allied to the field.

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