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Dinner time diaspora

This article is part of our series on Market Insight: Middle Eastern food.
You can view the full series or download the report.

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Middle Eastern cuisine is increasingly influencing not just what, but also how we eat. While its dishes and tastes are becoming more widespread in the Western world, evidence suggests this is just the beginning.

Our latest report provides a cross-cultural viewpoint as to how this Middle Eastern influence is growing and identifies 5 key trends set to shape the future of global food culture. Over the coming weeks we will be exploring each trend in turn, what the implications are for managers and highlight a best in class example.

Week 1: Dinner time diaspora

For the last three decades, prolonged major unrest in some areas of the Middle East has driven mass migration. This peaked 2015 when more than 1 million refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, while across the pond MENA immigrant population in the US increased 36% between 2010 and 2016.

Middle Eastern immigrants’ and refugees’ contribution to society has had a significant and valuable impact on food culture; they bring with them traditions, skills and different palates all of which are inspiring innovation.

So what?

These individuals act as the intermediaries for blending Eastern and Western culture, cookery and heritage. Beyond demanding a more diverse range of flavours from existing brands, these recent arrivals bring unique skills and new techniques to the workforce. Indeed, many are starting businesses of their own and brining new innovations into the market.

Ultimately, managers must consider how population shifts might influence local cuisine in the future and create a new customer base that requires a different approach.

Brand example: Imad’s Syrian Kitchen, London

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is a pop-up set up by Imad Alarnab, a Syrian chef and refugee living in London. Serving delicious food from the region, a proportion of profits go to Hope Hospital, a children’s hospital in Syria.

Imad demonstrates the positive impact migrant skills can bring to a new market. His approach to combining adventurous and disruptive flavours with an authentic story has captured the hearts and stomachs of the city!

Download your copy of the report now, and if you are interested in how to find the human future of the food market, please get in touch.

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