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Creative Coatings: Seal the Deal with Flavors Millennials Favor

Creative Coatings

30% of consumers find stuffed jalapeños to be an appealing appetizer on a small plate.1

Fueled by flavor innovations, the millennial foodservice market seems ready to rev up a revolution in creative coatings. Ninety-two million members strong, the generation that spends the greatest amount on prepared foods is driving demand for bold new taste experiences with their more adventurous palates.2

Survey research shows that millennials are spending more than other generations at restaurants, with nearly a quarter of their annual income devoured by dining out.3 Given the right product selection and flavor offerings, they seem likely to spend even more. Forty percent of millennials surveyed are hungry for menus with more innovative flavors and global mashups.3 As a result, a creative coating with a distinctive taste and texture could be the key that unlocks the sales potential of a new menu item or enhances the appeal of a staple.

With a combined value of $4.47 billion in 2017, the food coating ingredients and equipment markets are projected to total $5.83 billion by 2023, according to MarketsandMarkets, a research company focused on high-growth niche markets.4 Ingredient forms are dry (for salty snacks such as potato chips) and liquid (used in formulations of bakery products, flavored nuts, ice cream coatings, and granola bars, as well as candy bars and other confectioneries). Ingredient types include cocoa and chocolate, fats and oils, flours, breaders, batter, sugars and syrups, salts, spices and seasonings.

In the U.S. and Canada, the dominant region for the food coating market (the Asia-Pacific region is projected to be the fastest growing), consumers favor dry-coated salty snacks and frozen foods which are coated to extend their shelf life.4 Cereal and confectionery products are among the North American region’s popular items that require coating.4

Global Gusto: Coatings Cover a World of Flavors

So what kinds of flavors are millennials yearning for? The market research firm Datassential reports that millennials are especially interested in international flavors such as cumin, gochujang and yellow curry sauce, which could turn staples like chicken and pasta from same-old, same-old to intriguing and bold.5

Datasssential research underscores the millennial preference for coating-enhanced foods in contrast to other generations. Forty percent of millennials surveyed love cinnamon toast crunch cereal and 21% are hot for chipotle barbecue sauce, compared to 28% and 12%, respectively, of the overall population.5

Inspired by the millennial market’s growing appetite for international flavor adventures, operators can be expected to explore more dishes with creative coatings that add an exotic flair. “Roughly three in 10 customers look for new and unique flavors at QSRs and fast casuals,” reports the foodservice market research firm Technomic. “Because of their customer base, QSRs must ensure menu offerings appeal broadly. However, Technomic research shows that consumers are becoming more open to new and global cuisines in general, meaning that there is opportunity to offer more innovative fare.”6

Expect sauces, batters, spices and seasonings of Indian, Middle Eastern, regional African and Philippine origin to elevate the flavor profiles of a wide range of fare, from meats and fish to fruits and vegetables.

Technomic survey data determined that as many young consumers mature, their food preferences become even more adventurous and their appetite for innovative flavors grows. Sixty-two percent of millennials and nearly half of Gen Zers say they’ve become more willing to try new foods and flavors.7 There’s an abundance of flavor in their future (and sales in yours), provided you can stay ahead of the coatings curve.

Visit our Culinary Center for inspired ideas like our RITZ Polenta recipe to help ensure your operation has coatings covered in the New Year.

1 Freier, Lizzy, On The Menu U.S.—September 2018, Technomic, 2018, p.10
2 FONA International, Millennials 2018: Trend Insight Report, 2018, p. 1
3 FONA, p. 4
4 MarketsandMarkets, Food Coating Market by Ingredient Type (Batter, Flours), Application (Bakery, Snacks), Equipment Type (Coaters & Applicators, Enrobers), Form (Dry, Liquid), Mode of Operation (Automatic, Semi-Automatic), and Region - Global Forecast to 2023, 2018
5 Datassential, FoodBytes: Millennials, Feb. 2018, p. 4
6 Technomic, Future of LSR Consumer Trend Report, 2018, p. 11
7 Technomic, Generational Consumer Trend Report, 2018, p. 72

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