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Everyone Loves Italian Food

As part of the Upsiide 2019 Food Trends study, we examined regional cuisines. Our goal was to find out which regional cuisines are popular in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and how their popularity varies across genders and generations.

What did we find?

All countries rank their own cuisines first

Of all the regional cuisines tested, “American” ranks first in the US (79% of Americans like it); “Canadian” ranks first in Canada (77% of Canadians like it); and “British” ranks first in the UK (76% of UK respondents like it). One possible explanation for the results is the significance of familiarity – familiarity is an important purchase driver where food is concerned. But another factor that could account for these results is the increasing popularity of locally sourced foods: for example, most Canadians prefer buying food from Canadian producers, to support the economy and keep jobs in Canada.

Italian is the second most popular cuisine

73% of Americans, 71% of Canadians, and 71% of British respondents like “Italian”. Previous research has found that the overwhelming popularity of Italian cuisine stems from its taste, simplicity, and high-quality ingredients. In addition, pasta, a staple of Italian cuisine, has become popular throughout the world for being a cheap, versatile, convenient ingredient with a long shelf life.

Emerging regional cuisines are more popular with Millennials

In all three countries, Gen Xers and Boomers are significantly more likely to like “traditional” regional cuisines, such as “Mediterranean”, “Greek”, “Chinese”, “Italian” and “French”. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to like emerging regional cuisines, such as “Korean”, “Hawaiian”, Portuguese”, “African”, etc. This is consistent with previous research, which found that Millennials seek a unique, new, flavourful experience when dining out. In addition, American Millennials are more culturally diverse than older generations: having grown up eating dishes that reflect their heritage, and being more like to marry interracially, they have more exposure to different cultures and cuisines.

Interested in viewing the full results and analysis?

Download the Report

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