T. Hasegawa USA is one of the world’s top 10 food and beverage flavor manufacturers. The company stays ahead of emerging trends to analyze the latest in what consumers are looking for in packaged foods, beverages and even foodservice menus—and shares these findings with the industry with “Flavor Flash” reports.

This month, the company focuses on the latest in regional and international cuisine flavor trends. Here are just a few of its key findings from consumer surveys.
Versatility is a strength when it comes to regional and international flavors. Global cuisine is filled with functional ingredients and flavors that can move across occasions, formats and preparation methods. Reintroducing familiar flavors to new consumers helps integrate these emerging cuisines into the mainstream.
Mexican cuisine ranks among the most popular international food choices for personal consumption. According to Mintel data, an impressive 72 percent of consumers opt for Mexican dishes, whether they are dining at home or dining out. This narrowly outpaces Italian (68 percent) and Chinese (65 percent) as preferred international cuisines in the U.S. The rich and diverse flavors, along with the versatility of Mexican dishes, continue to captivate taste buds and attract a broad audience of food enthusiasts across various dining settings.
Consumers have a keen interest in experiencing different cultures through cuisine. A substantial 46 percent of individuals agree that indulging in international cuisines facilitates a connection with other cultures, and through this connection arises the prospect for learning and a heightened enthusiasm for authenticity in the future.
The discovery of new international cuisines varies considerably by generation. According to Mintel data, more than 57 percent of Gen Z consumers discover new culinary possibilities through TikTok, while 52 percent of Millennials learn about international flavors through Facebook. More than 43 percent of Gen X consumers discover foods through cooking shows, while 40 percent of Baby Boomers discover new international cuisines through dining out. Either way, these new experiences with flavors can lead to longer-lasting relationships and interest in cuisine types.
Brands, retailers, and operators can leverage different social strategies to fuel the rapid discovery of new cuisines. Whether in written or video format, viewable and shareable content like recipes, these pieces of content allow consumer awareness and adoption of global tastes, reinforcing the need for two-way digital strategies coupled with classic tactics to build cuisines and flavors trends.
Gen Z has grown up in the “experience economy” which has led to more experiential consumption experience. The enthusiasm these consumers have for global flavors such as chamoy and mole indicates that this generation is eagerly anticipating intricate and surprising flavor innovations across culinary domains, including meals, snacks, desserts, and beverages.
Beverages are often the gateway for new flavor exploration. Products in the beverage category are often early adopters of global flavors, whether they are recently trending ingredients like yuzu, lemongrass and turmeric, or now-mainstream beverages like horchata, chai masa or bubble teas.
Tap into the appeal of umami. New product developments in trending snacks and bowls with Asian roots are reinforcing the popularity of umami ingredients like sesame, fish sauce, seaweed and shiitake. According to Mintel, more than half of all U.S. adults express interest in these flavors.

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