Churros are becoming increasingly popular among consumers. 

JACKSON, MICH. — Dawn Foods has identified eight key consumer trends that it says will be relevant for the next three to five years. One of them is what Dawn calls “No Passport Required,” and it is fueled by the spread of ethnic foods and the ability for people to bring the tastes of foreign countries into their own home.

No Passport Required is a trend described by Dawn as consumers seeking bold new flavor fusions and authentic experiences, particularly ethnic offerings.

“What we see is that now more than ever before consumers have easy access to ethnic flavors and cuisines,” said Jennifer LaPaugh, senior director, global market research and insights, Dawn Foods. “They are branching out more into the ethnic aisles of the grocery store, food halls, multicultural restaurants and even media like TV. Global flavors are no longer foreign to them.”

The other seven trends identified through researching more than 100 databases and consulting syndicated resources like Global Data, The Nielsen Group, The NPD Group and more are: Luxury Found, Simple and Pure, #FoodieExpressions, Mashup Mania, Enlightened Eating, 25/7 and Transparency 360. 

Dawn Foods identified “No Passport Required” as a key trend that will impact product development in the coming years.

The Luxury Found trend identifies how consumers often seek decadent products with the finest ingredients to satisfy their need for indulgence. The Simple and Pure trend describes how consumers crave a no-fuss approach to eating. They want real food made with wholesome ingredients.

The #FoodieExpressions trend captures how technology has played a major role in spreading consumer love of food. Mashup Mania is a trend in which people are experimenting with new foods and flavors to create new dishes. Enlightened Eating is the trend of consumers feeling empowered by information to proactively seek nutrition like protein or probiotics to balance health and indulgence. 

The 25/7 trend describes how consumers are looking for ways to free up time so they can focus on growing to-do lists. And finally, Transparency 360 looks at how consumers are looking beyond the ingredient label to see the story of a company and if its products are, for example, ethically sourced.

Ms. LaPaugh said authentic ethnic foods can meet consumers’ needs across every trend.

“The influence of ethnic food manifests itself across all of the trends,” she said. “For example, with Transparency 360, an item may be featured in a bakery and have specific call outs on where ingredients are sourced from, what area of the world it was influenced by and some specific details that would help the consumer understand the product’s story. Because of this, we are working hard to partner with our customers to find ways to introduce this ethnic influence into their offerings.”

Ms. LaPaugh said European inspired items like tiramisu and croissants are becoming more popular in mainstream channels, as well as Asian-inspired items like mochi. From Latin America, flavors and products like empanadas and churros are finding their way into traditional channels. Other bakery flavors and products from Latin America making a splash in supermarket retail and food service channels are dulce de leche and cajeta. 

“It’s about accessibility, diversity and enjoyment of exploration,” Ms. LaPaugh said. “We see influences from all places of the world.”