It’s no secret that millennials have the greatest purchasing power in today’s market. Millennials currently make up the largest demographic, leading businesspersons to search for insights into their buying habits. They are driving restaurant growth while simultaneously revamping the way restaurants do business. Millennials are also driving key flavor profiles that restaurants should consider incorporating in their menus. Below are six flavor profiles millennials crave, and some dishes to consider adding to your menu.
- Modern Mediterranean
Many Middle Eastern flavors are becoming more recognizable and more desired by the millennial generation. According to Mintel’s 2018 Flavor Trends Outlook report, nearly 60 percent of U.S. restaurant customers are interested in modern Middle Eastern or Mediterranean cuisine. These types of restaurants have experienced nearly 35 percent growth since 2015 alone. One key ingredient on the rise is Dates, both in cuisine and drinks. Mint and pistachios followed in a close second and third.
One dish to consider adding to your menu is a Mediterranean Grilled Lamb Chop with Tomato Mint Quinoa. You can find the recipe here.
- Tamed sweets
Olive oil as a flavor in desserts grew 16 percent between 2015 and 2017, according to Mintel. Using olive oil, vinegars, and vegetable scraps are helping chefs to temper the sweetness of their desserts. However, this should not suggest millennials are pushing out staples such as ice cream from dessert menus. In fact, millennials eat more desserts than older generations.
One recipe to consider adding to your menu is Olive Oil Ice cream. You can find the recipe here.
- Functional Color
Obviously, unless you suffer from synesthesia color is not a flavor. However, Mintel found that 51 percent of restaurant-goers are willing to try a new ingredient if it provides a functional benefit. Some examples include algae, ube, black garlic, and sumac.
One dish to consider adding to your menu is an aubergine with black garlic. You can find the recipe here.
- Spice Medleys
As customer’s palates become worldlier, they want to experience global flavors in a more familiar setting, Mintel reports. Two popular spice blends are Berbere, an Ethiopian spice blend, combines spices such as ginger, basil, chili peppers and garlic, and Ras el hanout, a spice mix from North Africa, typically includes spices such as cardamom, cumin and ginger.
One dish to consider adding to your menu is berbere chicken with Ethiopian lentils. You can find the recipe here.
- International sauces and condiments
The Mintel report found that 49 percent of customers would like to see Indian sauces on menus, 33 percent want Middle Eastern flavors, and 23 percent want more African flavors. Utilizing these flavors in sauces and condiments is an easy way to incorporate them in a familiar way for your customers.
One recipe to consider adding to your menu is African chicken in spicy red sauce. You can find the recipe here.
- Meatless meat flavors
Millennials are very health-conscious and are eating fewer meals that contain meat. However, they still crave the savory flavors contained in meaty meals, Mintel found.
One dish to consider adding to your menu is savory vegetarian quinoa. You can find the recipe here.