What's So Special About Takeout?

When it comes to satiating specialty tastes, consumers aren't just starting from scratch at home. They're also doctoring up freshly prepared fare. According to the National Association for the Specialty Food Trades' 2008 Consumer Survey, performed by Mintel, Chicago, more than half (51%) of specialty food consumers said they had enhanced the flavor of takeout food with additional specialty ingredients/products

When it comes to satiating specialty tastes, consumers aren't just starting from scratch at home. They're also doctoring up freshly prepared fare.

According to the National Association for the Specialty Food Trades' 2008 Consumer Survey, performed by Mintel, Chicago, more than half (51%) of specialty food consumers said they had enhanced the flavor of takeout food with additional specialty ingredients/products within the last month.

Ron Tanner, vice president for communications and education for NASFT, was surprised that so many convenience-seeking shoppers are taking the time to customize their food this way.

“You'd think that people who are buying takeout are doing so so they won't have to do anything” in the kitchen, he said.

He suspects consumers are adding spices like curry flavors and hot sauce to everyday foods like chicken or coleslaw.

Thirty-nine percent of specialty food buyers reported purchasing specialty barbecue sauce during the previous six-month period; 31% bought condiments/mustards; and 27% bought spices and rubs.