The Wall Street Journal (requires subscription) brings us this latest trend report: fairs in the United States are going for unusual foods at the concession stands. Ethnic foods, especially, are hot sellers.
Mexican food, Middle Eastern lamb kabobs, sushi, Argentinean empanadas — these are just a few of the foods being served at state and county fairs in such traditional locales as the American Midwest and the South.
What's driving this mini-globalization trend? Changing consumer tastes — and the increasing minority populations in many states.
- For the $700 million North American fair industry, the new smorgasbord is partly a response to healthier diets and evolving tastes. But it also reflects shifting demographics. The number of Asian and Pacific Islanders in Iowa, for example, has grown by 28% since 1990, primarily driven by an increase in Vietnamese residents. The Ohio State Fair's new "Fiesta Ohio," a celebration of Mexican heritage, is an effort to reach that state's fastest-growing minority group.
Oh, and you still can probably find that American classic, fried Twinkies, if you look hard enough.
Adapted from a post that first appeared on the author's blog, Small Business Trends. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on changing trends.