Almost a third (30%) of UK families bought or tried Mexican food in the past year, a Future Thinking survey of more than 2,000 consumers showed.
This was despite recent figures from Mintel that showed Chinese cuisine was favoured by Brits, following increased retailer promotion around Chinese New Year in February.
Holidays in more exotic and distant destinations were, in part, credited with the rise in the popularity of Mexican food among Brits, the survey claimed.
Also, a rise in television programmes featuring the cuisine – either being made by chefs or being consumed by actors on shows – was also a contributing factor, it added.
“The explosion of food-focused media, including social media, will have helped drive the change in eating habits, as we move out of our comfort zone and look for new flavours to trial,” Future Thinking said.
‘Look for new flavours’
Future flavour trends
Future Thinking figures also indicated a rise in the popularity of Indonesian and Malaysian meals. Brazilian and Korean food, meanwhile, could be the “new Mexican” in the next 12 to 18 months, it claimed.
“Everyday food- and drink-themed content, from recipe ideas to photos of the latest meals, continue to proliferate across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, signifying a seemingly unending search for inspiration.”
Different world foods were also analysed by the survey to identify new flavours being trialled by consumers, Future Thinking said.
“When considering new food flavours, Mexican came out on top with 39% showing an interest in the cuisine,” it added.
This was followed by Moroccan (27%), fiery American barbecue (27%), Middle Eastern (23%) and Japanese (25%).
Younger age groups appeared to be more adventurous in trying new foods, with almost three quarters of under 34 year-olds trying the latest products, compared with less than half of over 55 year-olds, it claimed.
Claudia Strauss, md of fast moving consumer goods and shopper at Future Thinking, said: “Our research illustrates that Britain’s taste buds continue to seek new and exotic flavours as a way to recreate far-flung holiday experiences and international celebrations.
‘Exciting opportunity for manufacturers’
“For manufacturers and retailers, this presents exciting opportunities to offer consumers new and delicious ranges of world foods.”
Meanwhile, innovation in food and drink will be the focus of a one-day conference on March 17 2016, organised by the Food Manufacture Group.
New Frontiers in Food and Drink will take place at etc.venues, St Pauls, London.
Speakers will include Food Innovation Solutions director and innovator – and former senior development chef at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Development Kitchen – Stefan Cosser.
Tasty food trends
- Mexican food: 39% of those sampled showed an interest
- Moroccan: 27%
- Fiery American barbecue: 27%
- Middle Eastern: 23%
- Japanese: 25%
Source: Future Thinking