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Mintel: Ethnic foods enjoy robust product growth

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — While some ethnic cuisines have become mainstream, such as Italian and Chinese food, some lesser-known ethnic food products are enjoying growth in the marketplace, according to new research by Mintel.

According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, new food items that contained "Caribbean" in the product description realized a 150% increase from 2009 to 2010. In addition, Asian cuisine products, including Japanese and Thai, respectively rose 230% and 68%.

Mintel suggested that the rise in product launches could be attributed to the fact that consumers now have more outlets that offer such ethnic food products in recent years. In fact, 26% of ethnic-food lovers said they were introduced to the cuisine by television programs, newspapers or magazines that featured cuisine from other countries.

"In keeping with Mintel’s ‘professionalization of the amateur’ CPG trend, consumers are becoming more interested in trying out complicated ethnic dishes at home that would usually be prepared by a chef in a restaurant," said David Lockwood, senior analyst at Mintel.

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Oreo is well-‘liked’ on Facebook

BY Allison Cerra

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — It seems that Facebook users love Oreo.

Kraft Foods on Wednesday said that its cookie brand set a Guinness World Record with the most "likes" on a Facebook post in 24 hours. The Oreo Facebook community of 16 million fans from around the world was invited to "like" a post that read, "’Like’ this post to join other Oreo fans around the world in setting a Guinness World Record for most ‘likes’ to a post in 24 hours. Oreo is the world’s favorite cookie, and with your help, it will be the most ‘liked.’"

Fans around the world tallied a total of 114,619 "likes," Kraft Foods said.

"Oreo has been bringing families together for nearly 100 years," said John Ghingo, senior director of Oreo global growth platforms for Kraft Foods. "We’re so proud of our fans who came together to make this momentous first happen. So while our reign as record-holder may be short but delectably sweet, like Oreo cookies, we proudly accept the record on behalf of our fans across the globe."

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Ocean Spray introduces sparkling beverages line

BY Allison Cerra

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. — Ocean Spray is getting bubbly.

The juice brand said its new sparkling juice drinks will be available in two original and diet flavors, cranberry and pomegranate blueberry, and are made with 70% real fruit juice and no added sugar, artificial colors or preservatives. A serving of Ocean Spray sparkling juice is 90 calories, while Ocean Spray diet sparkling is 10 calories per serving.

To celebrate the launch of the new line, Ocean Spray’s Facebook fans can sign up for the first taste test.

"With the launch of our sparkling juice drinks, we hope to provide the right mix of the bubbly refreshment consumers crave with the tasty goodness of Ocean Spray juices," said Larry Martin, Ocean Spray VP marketing.

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