Beyond its rich mélange of flavors including mango, coconut and Calamansi lime, interest in Filipino cuisine on the US food scene is being driven by several factors, according to a 2019 trend report from Wixon. First is the ethnic diversity of younger generations. US Census data indicates America’s Pacific Island population is expected to increase 25% from 2013 to 2023, while at the same time, the Asian American population is projected to grow by 28%.
Second, the consumer demand for global flavors both in foodservice and consumer packaged goods continues to expand, especially for Asian flavors. According to a 2018 Lightspeed/Mintel survey, American consumers prefer Southeast Asian cuisine more than Latin and African cuisines. And 75% of Southeast Asian consumers are seeking out food of their own ethnic heritage.
Looking specifically at the rising interest in Filipino foods, Google Trend data shows Americans are searching Google for Filipino food more today than in the past decade. “All of these indicators point to an unmet demand for Filipino flavors in the market,” says Becca Henrickson, marketing manager. “Pacific Island cuisines are also primarily dairy- and gluten-free, which adds another layer of appeal among consumers following these dietary patterns.”
Of note, vegan versions of cakes, cupcakes and pastries are gaining popularity, as evidenced by new vegan options of cupcakes introduced by such leading wholesalers as Rubicon Bakers in Richmond, California. Plus, the cool green icing of Rubicon’s Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcake uses color made from red cabbage and turmeric, while the deep red of Red Velvet Cupcakes is made from radishes.
The prominent global foodservice trade show Sirha in Lyon, France, featured a 100% vegan pastry for the finals of the 2019 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie.
Several teams chose to go for simple ingredient substitutes, while others pushed the creative limits with plant-based desserts that featured beets or turnips. Team USA Chef Nicolas Chevrieux expressed great enthusiasm for competing in such a prestigious event that honored nature’s place in the food sector.