What you need to know

Regional and international flavors often play a big role in mealtime choice and a changing demographic landscape combined with new consumer priorities is shaping an increasingly diverse and dynamic future. Cuisines, both domestic and international, lie on a spectrum from established to emerging, and where cuisines land on the spectrum shifts based on consumer age, location, culture and willingness to seek out new flavors. The divide between what consumers want and expect from a meal at home and from a dining out occasion is blurring, pointing to new opportunities for both foodservice operators and packaged brands. From Carolina BBQ to Oaxacan, this Report gauges consumption, awareness and future interest regarding more than 30 mainstream and emerging regional and international cuisines.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the food and drink market.

  • Regional American cuisine consumption.

  • International cuisine consumption.

  • Interest in emerging cuisines.

  • The consumer path to new cuisine discovery.


This Report includes a wide range of restaurants, including FSRs (full-service restaurants) as well as LSRs (limited-service restaurants), as well as CPG food and beverage categories within the US.

COVID-19: Market context

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic; on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in the US.

Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, remaining in place through May, and in some cases June. During this time, referred to as lockdown, nonessential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations. Restaurants became takeout- and delivery-only in nearly all states.

During re-emergence, all 50 states have relaxed stay-at-home orders and allowed businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place. The continued spread of COVID-19 infections has driven some states to slow down or reverse course on reopening plans. Mintel anticipates the US will remain in a state of flux through 2021, until a vaccine is available.

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