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Generational Comfort Foods

On the surface, most of us crave many of the same foods: ice cream, chocolate, grilled cheese, chips. However, different generations can crave different foods─and, as importantly, different incarnations of those foods─for different reasons.
How does this play out with comfort food, a topic near and dear to consumers’ hearts in times of economic turmoil and financial stress? Do Boomers and their Gen Y offspring turn to the same foods for comfort? How about Gen Xers, raising children in a new world of healthful options and global flavors? And what role do venerable food brands play in definitions of comfort food by generation?

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Generational Comfort Foods

  1. 1. Generational Comfort Foods<br />
  2. 2. The ingredient, dish and/or cooking technique appears at upscaledining establishments, ethnic and popular independent restaurants blessed with creative chefs and diners with adventurous palates.<br />The item is featured in specialty consumer-oriented food channels such as Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines, The Food Network plus retail stores such as Sur la Table that target culinary professionals and serious home chefs.<br />STAGE 4<br />STAGE 3<br />STAGE 1<br />STAGE 2<br />Trend Mapping<br />STAGE 5<br />The item begins to appear in mainstream chain restaurants – Applebee’s or Chili’s – as well as retail stores such as Williams-Sonoma that target recreational cooks.<br />The women’s magazines and family-oriented publications – Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens – pick up the buzz.<br />Finally, the trend makes its way to quick service restaurant menus and is either starting to appear or is having an increased presence on grocery store shelves.<br />
  3. 3. When seeking comfort from food, which category do you turn to most?<br />Survey<br />
  4. 4. Generational Comfort Food Trends<br />The Three Overarching Trends influencing comfort food evolution. <br />1. Contemporary Quality<br />2. The New Diversity<br />3. Balanced Eating<br />
  5. 5. Where are they now?<br />
  6. 6. Generational Comfort Foods<br />View our extensive catalog of Culinary Trend Mapping Reports <br />

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On the surface, most of us crave many of the same foods: ice cream, chocolate, grilled cheese, chips. However, different generations can crave different foods─and, as importantly, different incarnations of those foods─for different reasons. How does this play out with comfort food, a topic near and dear to consumers’ hearts in times of economic turmoil and financial stress? Do Boomers and their Gen Y offspring turn to the same foods for comfort? How about Gen Xers, raising children in a new world of healthful options and global flavors? And what role do venerable food brands play in definitions of comfort food by generation?

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