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Ethiopian, Moroccan, South American Cuisine Fuels Snacking Craze

These popular ethnic cuisines should provide new snacking options for retailers.
November 30, 2017

​SAN FRANCISCO – Snacks increasingly have become global, with consumer packaged goods using ethnic flavor profiles in snack foods. Now, three ethnic cuisines appear poised to offer retailers and restaurants new snacking options: Ethiopian, Moroccan, South American, QSR Magazine reports.

“Based on all available evidence, the global-snacking trend continues to gather steam. Credit goes to those ever-adventurous millennials and their younger Gen-Z counterparts, whose restless palates are constantly yearning for new, different, and memorable flavors,” wrote Marc Halperin in the magazine’s November issue.

Ethiopia’s injera, a two-foot sourdough pancake often served with spicy vegetarian stews. Teff, an ancient grain used in injera, could be transformed into chips or other portable snacks. Adding berbere, a spice mix with basil, chile peppers, garlic and ginger, to stews or soups could bring the flavor of Ethiopia to consumers.

Moroccans traditionally enjoy flavored vegetables and fruit, rice, couscous and sweet/savory spices, such as anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and saffron. Portable snack options could include chebakia (strips of fried dough coated in honey/rosewater syrup and sesame seeds) or bastille (ground meat enclosed in a pastry). Savory veggies, like fried cauliflower, paired with dipping sauces could provide a healthful snack occasion.

For South American, there’s a host of countries from which to choose. Arepas have been gaining popularity lately, as the cornmeal biscuits are being stuffed with cheeses, fruits, meats and vegetables. Empanadas have a healthy following in the United States already for its versatility—the crimped pastries can be sweet or savory, depending on the filling.

“In my view, exploring different global flavor profiles is a relatively simple way to create distinct dishes that aren’t too far afield for their core consumers,” Halperin noted.