Hispanic Flavors and Fusions Inspiring Menus and New Product Innovation

 In Blog, Food & Beverage Trends

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the Hispanic population in the U.S. is expected to grow by 7.7 million people by 2026. This group represents the largest minority in the U.S. and they also have had a substantial influence on flavors, products and menus throughout the food and beverage industry. In fact, Traveling through Taste was deemed one of the top trends of the 2016 Google Food Trends Report, and many of the top searches had a heavy Hispanic and Latin American influence. Consider integrating these flavor fusions when planning your next product:

Frozen Treats
• “Latin and Tex-Mex flavors are trending in frozen desserts, found in everything from horchata milkshakes to paletas. El Charro Café in Tucson, AZ, serves fried ice cream with a favorite regional flavor – prickly pear syrup. Wyoming based Taco John’s featured a Mexican Ice Cream Sandwich made with Mexican chocolate cookies.”
• ICEE launched a mango chili lime flavor in the fall of 2017 in celebration of their 50th anniversary.
• 7-Eleven launched an Air Heads Mango Chili Slurpee Lite in the fall of 2017, and they expect it to be available through the end of the year.

Menu Penetration
• Menu penetration since 2010 of peppers commonly found in Latin-American dishes include poblano (+31%), ancho (+25%), guajillo (+78%), jalapeno (+8), chipotle (+25%), serrano (+55%), and habanero (+96%)
• Menu penetration of horchatas was 2.9%

Dining Out
• Hispanic expenditures on dining out reached $70.9 billion in 2017, a 28% increase since 2012.
• Restaurant Hospitality highlighted agua frescas, the Mexican fruit-based beverage, as an alternative to soda in August 2017. Fresh produce, roots and herbs are integrated into these offerings as one way to customize these mocktails and position them as more premium.

Recent Launches
• Starbucks launched a Horchata Frappuccino in August 2017
• CocaCola launched a horchata flavored agua fresca in June 2017
• Koia (plant-based protein beverage) added a Cinnamon Horchata flavor, launched at Expo West 2017

Sources: DataSsential Foodbytes: Year in Trends, Jan 2017; DataSsential MenuTrends, Mintel