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Pushing the boundaries of taste with food fusions

03 February 2015

CronutFood fusion products that mix different tastes and culinary traditions are on the rise, as adventurous consumers are looking for indulgent and exciting new taste experiences – a motivation that drives 10% of food and drink consumption globally. More consumers are taking the leap and are broadening their horizons, leaving it up to retailers to meet their growing and demanding needs.

The curious nature of consumers has led to experiments with new and exciting tastes and varieties such as the Cronut, a cross between a croissant and a donut, popular in the US. Restaurant-style fusion dishes such as Burritos and Tacos have become increasingly available at retail outlets and supermarkets. Baum and Whiteman, restaurant food consultants, refer to the search for novelty as the “Restless Palate Syndrome” – the pursuit of new flavours and novel tastes that consumers hope will offer a unique experience and a tickling of their ever tingling taste buds. KFC India, for example, launched a new version of their 'Flaming Crunch Chicken' in late January 2015, flavoured with one of the world's hottest chillies, the Assam-grown ghost pepper. This Ghost pepper-flavoured Flaming Crunch Chicken is proving to be one of KFC's most successful new launches in India, offering consumers the opportunity to satisfy their craving for flavour, intensity and spiciness.

So why are consumers experimenting more now than ever before? An increasingly multi-cultural society leads to consumers sharing their experiences and style of dishes with new friend circles. And, of course, retailers are shaping eating habits as they are investing heavily in trying to meet the need for fusion products. They allow consumers to bring the latest foodservice trends into their homes, and the variety on offer is making it almost impossible not to try their products.

So is this a trend that is likely to continue? Most definitely! Retailers need to realise that food fusion is a continuous trend and, therefore, it is imperative for them to continue to meet the demanding nature of consumers. So how can this be done? The answer is simple: innovation, innovation, innovation. This is at the heart of food fusion and its success. However, innovation should not be limited to the composition and presentation of the meal, but extended right down to the packaging and the food-serving style. 

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By Safwan Kotwal

Safwan Kotwal Bw Cropped 2Safwan made the move to Canadean in October 2014 and has since prepared multiple reports in a variety of categories and markets. His main interests lie in the growing trends in the Middle-Eastern and South-East Asian markets. Safwan graduated from the University of Manchester with honours in Economics in 2010, and later went on to study a post-graduate qualification. Previous to Canadean, he worked as an external auditor for Grant Thornton.