Are U.S. consumers bored with what they’re finding on the dinner plate? The results of the 2009 Flavor Consumer Trend Report from Technomic indicates 1162677_sushithat consumers want something new and different to eat. This study comes at a perfect time for restaurants that are seeking new ways to attract consumers.

According to the study, flavor innovation will be a hot new trend in restaurants and one that mirrors the country’s changing demographics. Here are a few summary level statistics from the report that indicate consumer preferences:

  • Discovering a new flavor at a restaurant and the desire to return for that same dish: 66%
  • Men ages 25 to 34 who enjoy eating at restaurants that offer new/unique flavors: 42%
  • Interested in trying new flavors in general: 36%
  • Interested in trying specific cuisines: Spanish (72%), Hawaiian (71%), Greek (66%)

Darren Tristano, EVP of Technomic, notes that flavor innovation can boost the bottom line for both manufacturers and restaurants as they prepare foods with innovative dips, sauces and marinades. According to Tristano,  “[a]n unusual flavor profile could be one that drives repeat visits by consumers.”  Repeat business is one way for restaurants to turn business around. In a separate release, Technomic noted that revenue declines at full service establishments in September had slowed from August but the conditions remain difficult. Operators that market international flavors may be able to interest consumers who are looking for something new.

[Source: Technomic release, 10.21.09]