The Millennials and Generation Z have a huge thirst for travel and adventure – you just need to look on Instagram and Facebook to see proof of this. Historically travel was for the wealthy and elite however times have changed and the rise of budget travel has opened up the world to an entirely new market of wanderlust. Whereas previous generations see travel as a luxury, Millennials & Gen Z see it as an essential part of life and a basic requirement for a balanced and healthy lifestyle. However there still remains an element of the old mind set, as travel is still seen (to a degree) as a social status and social positioning for those that post on social media.

78% of these generations would rather spend their money on ‘experiences’ rather than ‘things’, and as a result they are seeking far off destinations and looking for their next ‘rush’ to document and show their network. Subsequently, due to this increase in world education, flavours from afar are now filtering home and consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with the unknown; to the point that the unknown will soon become the norm on our supermarket shelves. The lines between East and West will start to merge and cultural culinary identities will start to blur – as we are already starting to see via the movement of fusion cuisine.

To give you an example, there was a time when Belgian and Swiss chocolate were the very last words in luxury confectionery. And they still are – to an extent. Now-a-days however, we are seeing chocolate of origin from all around the world. You only need walk into a premium chocolate retailers to see chocolate from origins you may never have even heard of 10 years ago! As generation Z and Millennials travel further afield they are sampling cuisines and foods that they would not have done so had they stayed at home. When they travel they gain a greater understanding of the manufacturing and ethical practices, the environmental impacts and also increase their knowledge of different profiles and pairings. Once home, the buzz of travel starts to wear off as they seek the nostalgia and euphoria from their now distant trip. By purchasing a product with a clear declaration of country of origin, it not only establishes its authenticity and sustainability, but evokes nostalgia and awakens memories of their adventure – enabling them to taste their memories in a single bite…

Origin declaration is simply only the tip of the iceberg on how travel is influencing our purchasing and consumption habits. Pandan leaf, Soy, Miso and vinegar has started to make an appearance in the western confection sector, replacing for example, the known and familiar rock sea salt, to obtain the contrasting salty notes. These foreign and unknown flavour profiles are becoming the norm and people are finally moving out of their comfort zones and are willing to experiment so much more than seen by the generations of yester-year…