CHICAGO — Nine in 10 adults aged 25 to 34-years-old say they prepared ethnic food at home in the past month, versus only 68% of those 65+, according to research firm Mintel. In addition, 91% of Americans with children under the age of 18 in the home cooked ethnic food compared to 78% of those without children.
"As Americans, especially younger people, have palates that are becoming more adventurous and sophisticated, they are also eager to explore lesser-known cuisines with unique flavor combinations, said John Frank, category manager, CPG food & drink at Mintel.
Read more: Vendors Woo Hispanics
The ethnic food category experienced overall growth of 12% from 2007-09. This performance was likely driven by a migration from restaurant eating to increased food store purchases for at-home dining due to restricted budgets. However, starting in 2010, sales growth slowed to 4.5% from 2010-12. But Mintel predicts the market will grow by 20.3% from 2012-17, likely driven by continued consumer interest and more focused product development.
While households with children continue to over index on consumption of all types of ethnic food prepared at home, Hispanic food is the most popular, with 72% of respondents from households with children preparing this cuisine at home in the past month compared to only 50% of those without children.
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