While the term "ethnic flavors" has long since ceased to bring merely Mexican, Italian and Chinese foods to mind, this mushrooming category has begun to encompass much more than the tastes of other exotic cultures. Processors are finding that consumers are not just demanding Thai, Middle Eastern and Brazilian items — they're demanding healthy Thai, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, etc.
"Consumers are looking for healthy and flavorful foods and are truly eager to expand their culinary horizons," says, Nicole Hofmann, brand manager at Sabra Dipping Co., Queens, N.Y. "We just conducted a national Taste Intervention promotion and sought out people who felt they were in a ‘food rut.' The entries poured in, with thousands of people indicating a desire to bring more authentic, interesting and great-tasting foods into their lives."
But Hoffman notes convenience is now an important factor in creating and marketing ethnic cuisine. "We provide variety in terms of flavors and also in terms of packaging, so that people can serve their favorite hummus to friends and family, add it to their recipes or enjoy it as a snack at home or on the go."
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