Almost a third of UK consumers do not eat ethnic food, leaving a gap in the market for smaller local producers particularly in own label ready meals.
The information was based on the results of an IGD survey revealed at an ethnic food conference organised by Heart of England Fine Foods in Birmingham.
Speaking at the event, Sainsbury regionality manager Jane Wakeling said the supermarket's own label lines offered many avenues for small ethnic food suppliers: "A lot of the work I do is with small and medium-sized suppliers, identifying opportunities in ranges such as Foods of the World or Blue Parrot."
IGD business director Richard Hutchins said 25 to 34-year-olds were the key ethnic food consumers ­ 89% had eaten ethnic food in the last year. Conversely, three quarters of over 65s have not eaten ethnic food.
Chinese meals were UK consumers' favourite ethnic dish, followed by Indian and then Mexican food.

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