Technomic reveals preferences for new flavors vary by generation

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27 Oct 2017 --- Baby boomers are showing a growing tendency to forgo new flavors, as millennials and Gen Xers continue to drive demand for unique flavors, according to Technomic’s recently released 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report. Differing attitudes ring particularly true for spicy, bold and ethnic flavors, with millennials twice as likely as baby boomers to order ethnic foods at least once a week.

“The growing divide in flavor preferences between millennials and boomers heightens the need for a product mix that appropriately balances familiarity and innovation,” explains Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. 

“Creating a small twist on classic recipes with flavors that particularly appeal to boomers, such as smoky flavors, can provide an element of uniqueness without going too far out of their comfort zone,” she adds. 

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Forty-two percent of consumers say they expect restaurants to offer signature flavors they can’t get elsewhere
  • More 18- to 34-year-olds now (47 percent) than in 2015 (39 percent) say their preferences change with the seasons
  • Forty-five percent of consumers say they crave bold flavors, up from 41 percent in 2015

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