Santa Maria Foodservice has developed a set of recipes using flavours tailored to diners' age and generation.
Chef Bob Tinsley today cooked four dishes at London venue L'Atelier des Chefs at an event held to reveal the findings of the report.
The spices comprise smoked paprika, wasabi and sesame, triple pepper, cacao and chili, chili and lime, smoky barbecue, tomato and basil, and umami.
The dishes were a grilled paneer, onion and red pepper kebab with orange and pepper, wasabi and sesame spices for Millennials; a pulled chicken with a cacao and chilli barbecue marinade and fresh red cabbage slaw for Generation X; a Keralan chicken curry with chilli and lime rice for the Baby Boomers; and a grilled sirloin steak with mashed potato and smoked paprika for the War Babies.
Each dish was tailored to the self-professed likes and dining habits of each of the four generations, who were polled for the report. Questions covered issues such as how often the respondents ate out of the house, which meals they tended to eat out, how often they tried something new, how willing they were to take a risk food-wise, and which spices and flavours they preferred.
Key findings included that Millennials are more likely to be adventurous when trying new things (33% said this) and experiencing stronger flavours. Generation X, however, had 28% likely to try something new and 8% rarely trying new things; and the trend continued to reverse with each older generation: Baby Boomers had 24% trying new dishes, vs 13%, and War Babies had 20% for new dishes, and 19% preferring to stick to what they know.
Flavour-wise, 48% of Millennials liked spicy food, 33% of Generation X, 25% of Baby Boomers, and just 17% of War Babies. Similarly, 43% of Millennials liked bold flavours (compared to 37% of Generation X, 38% of Baby Boomers, and 29% of War Babies).
Generation X and Millennials favoured Chinese, with traditional food such as French-style coming in at just 17th favourite, and more adventurous tastes such sushi and Japanese making their top 10.
Generation X were similar, choosing British, Indian, burgers, and Italian for the rest of their top five, with traditional French coming in at number 11th. Conversely, Baby Boomers and War Babies were most likely to choose British-style dishes when eating out, and were far less likely to choose Mexican or Japanese than their younger counterparts, preferring Indian instead.
Millennials did share one trait with War Babies, however, in that they are likely to have less disposable income, which they said sometimes made them less adventurous in choosing new dishes. Nearly half (47%) of Millennials said they had been put off trying something new because of cost, despite their desire to choose new flavours, which translated into a preference for sharing instead, to allow them to try new things without being pinned down to any one, risky choice.
The study was undertaken in association with Allegra Foodservice.