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Ethnic Food Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Cuisine Type (Asian, Italian, Mexican, and Others), Food Type (Veg and Non-Veg), Distribution Channel (Hypermarkets/Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores, and Online Sales Channels) and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102264



The global ethnic food market size was USD 45.27 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 49.27 billion in 2021 to USD 98.06 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 10.33% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with various ethnic cuisines witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited an increase in growth, registering 4.5% year-on-year growth in 2020. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

Innovation in the packaged and frozen food sector is continuously growing since the last few years. Market players are focusing on expanding their product lines in every region of the world by launching a wide variety of local food products in international markets. New and creative business models are being implemented to tackle the problems manufacturers face due to COVID-19 pandemic. Innovative marketing strategies are expected to expand the global reach of manufacturers and offer lucrative opportunities to them in the way local ethnic cuisine is marketed and to be sold during the forecast period.

Rapid Spread of COVID-19 Mainly In Asia Pacific Region Q3 & Q4 2020 Restricted  Market Growth  

Asia Pacific is the leading producer in the global market. However, ethnic food production and export in the Asia Pacific region in the year 2020 was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the world’s largest ethnic group food producers, China faced challenges related to the production and export of ethnic cuisine food products. Many of the factories in the Asia Pacific region were shut in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and hence production also reached to the lowest levels. Even after reopening of the markets, only essential commodities production was started, hence limited foods from ethnic cuisine foods section were produced and production was below average levels in almost 4-5 months in 2020.


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New Trend of Adopting of Frozen Ethnic Food  To Offer Promising Opportunities

Since the last few years there is akey market trend of adopting frozen food products. In early there were misconceptions and lack of clarity about the frozen food products and their freshness. But as the years passed, consumers are now aware of the new technologies used to preserve frozen food while transporting them via international fleets and to the various markets. With this clarification about the benefits of freezing products consumers are now adapting to the frozen food products more than ever. Manufacturers are launching more new products in the frozen food categories and attracting consumers towards their products.

Pizza, ready to eat (RTE) noodles, Chinese food products, Japanese food items, and ready to eat hot dogs are some of the products that are most consumed in this category. These products which were earlier doubted to remain fresh after freezing are now accepted widely in all the international markets with latest cooling technologies and preservation technologies. It's a trend that is coupled nicely with focusing and consuming their local regional food by consumers that are relocated to different countries either for work or for other reasons. In developed places such as the U.K., Canada, Germany, Italy, UAE, and the U.S. where the relocation is high, consumers’ demand for their local Asian/Italian food is increasing continuously. These growth trends are driving the market over the last few years.


Increasing Migration/Relocation Of Consumers in Various Regions

According to the World Economic Forum, there are an estimated 272 million international migrants i.e. 3.5% of the world’s population. People’s willingness to work abroad has increased globally since the last few years. While the share of international migrants is around 3.5% of the world’s population, it has already surpassed some projections for 2050 made by WEF. According to WEF, since 1970, the number of people living in a country other than where they were born has tripled. U.S. is the primary destination for migrants, though as a proportion of its population, while the United Arab Emirates has the largest migrant contingent. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states also have seen significant population changes as a result of migration.

Many consumers move in this region for work and migrants make up the majority of the population in GCC countries except Oman and Saudi Arabia. India continues to be the main origin of international migrants, with 17.5 million Indian-born people living abroad. China and Mexico have over 10 million former residents living worldwide. With a vast majority of the population relocating in various countries, their demand for consumption of their local regional food products is also growing since the last few years. With easy availability of the ethnic cuisine in international markets, consumers’ spending has increased towards their local ethnic cuisine. With Asian population being the major group of migrants, demand for Asian food is increasing significantly.

Globalization of Regional Products and Rise Of Online Sales

Majority of the ethnic group food production takes place in countries of Asia-Pacific region such as Japan, China, India, Thailand, and South Korea, and hence this region is dominating the global ethnic cuisine food production with a large margin. With increasing demand for Asian food products such as Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Indian food, and Vietnamese cuisine throughout the world, these countries are emerging as major exporters of ethnic group foods to the world. With the demand of traditional ethnic group food continuously increasing, these nations are also getting exposure to the various new types of ethnic group foods and are getting recognition in the global markets.

Moreover, with fast growing online sales channels, the market is now wide open for consumers to buy their favorite local food from any corner of the globe. These factors are contributing positively towards the market growth and are expected to do so during the forecast time period.


Consumer Demand For Fully Natural Products Restraints Growth Of Preserved Food Items

Since the last few years, mainly after 2000’s, consumers’ awareness towards consumption of natural food products is growing. Ethnic group food products are mainly transported from one country to other countries and to do so they need to use some edible chemical preservatives, but as the awareness about the use of natural ingredients in food products is increasing, they might face challenges related to the addition of chemicals to preserve the products for a longer time. Moreover, as the major means of transportation in the world being sea, it takes time for the products to travel to their destination, in such cases use of natural ingredients may not always be feasible to keep the good shelf life of the products. To overcome these restraining factors, local manufacturers need to partner with some of the international manufacturers settled in various regions in the world. Considering the presence of a large number of local and small manufacturers, the process of shifting from using chemical ingredients to natural ingredients might be difficult and this would act as a restraining factor for the growth of the global market.


By Cuisine Type Analysis

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Asian Ethnic Food Segment Holds Major Market Share due to High Consumption & Easy Availability

Based on cuisine type, the segment includes Asian, Italian, Mexican, and Others.

The Asian cuisine segment dominates the market owing to its wide acceptance and favoritism in almost all the regions. Due to huge migration of working group from Asia, its population is widespread in many countries of the world. With the population widespread in almost every country, demand for their regional ethnic cuisine food is increasing. Moreover demand for Italian food types such as pasta, pizza, and lasagna is also increasing owing to the wide acceptance and presence of these foods in ready to cook form even in the smallest markets of the world.

Mexican brown ethnic cuisine food is expected to showcase a promising ethnic food market growth on account of their growing consumption in Asian & North American countries. In countries such as the U.S., Canada, Mexico, UAE, and India’s  consumption hasbeen increasing since the last few years and hence this factor offers promising growth opportunities for the growth of the global market.

By Food Type Analysis

Non-Veg Ethnic Food to Hold Major Share Owing to High Demand and Consumption

Non-veg ethnic cuisine food products sector dominates the global market in 2020 and is expected to retain its dominance during the forecast time period. Non-veg food of the part of daily diet in almost every household in European, North America, South America, Chinese, and Middle Eastern countries. Their daily meals consist of a larger amount of non veg food compared to the veg food. Non-veg consumption in the world is much higher than the veg consumption and hence the market share of non-veg ethnic food is also high. However with awareness about the benefits of vegan diets and vegetarian food consumption, some consumers are also leaning towards vegetarian diets and this factor is expected to boost the market for veg ethnic food during the forecast time period making it the fastest growing segment in this segment.  

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Mass Merchandisers to Remain Dominant due to Strong Sales of Ethnic Foods

Based on the distribution channel, this market is divided into supermarkets/ hypermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and online retail channels.

The supermarkets/hypermarkets dominated the global market in 2020, owing to the availability of wide range of products. Also, the migration due to studying and working abroad has necessitated these mass merchandisers to offer cuisines of various countries.

The online sales channel are projected to grow at a faster pace in the coming years as consumers can purchase foods of different countries from the comfort of their home.


Asia Pacific Ethnic Food Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific region holds the major share  of ethenic food marketin 2020. This is mainly due to the  growing adoption rate of ethnic group food and ingredients in traditional cuisines of various countries such as U.S., Italy, Germany, China, Japan, India, Australia, and UAE has elevated its global demand over the past few years. In addition, the growing demand for ethnic food from the foodservice sector propels the market growth in the region.

North America region which includes U.S., Canada, and Mexico is expected to experience steady growth owing to the growing demand for Asian cuisine caused by growth in relocation of Asian consumers in this region. Moreover, rise in the popularity of Asian ethnic group food products and other new ethnic cuisine foods in the North America region has propelled the demand for import of various regional ethnic group foods. The increasing popularity of frozen foods and regional food products from smaller countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines has attracted the consumers to this food sector. Ongoing developments and technological advancements in the preservation and freezing of ethnic cuisine foods are expected to drive the growth of the U.S. ethnic cuisine food market majorly in the region.

The ethnic food market share is in Europe is expected to exhibit comparatively slower growth as compared to the other developed regions. In Europe, the presence of local ethnic group food products such as Italian, Spanish, French and Greek products restricts the exponential growth of other ethnic group food categories in Europe but still the demand is expected to grow steadily. There has been high demand for Italian, and Spanish food for a long time and hence the consumption of Mexican cuisine is not highly increasing but experiencing slow and steady market growth.

The South American market for ethnic foods is expected to exhibit stable growth rate during the forecast time period owing to its geographical area which includes various oceanic landscapes. The major countries contributing the production of ethnic cuisine food and specialty food in South America are  Brazil and Argentina. The ethnic group food market in this region expected to offer promising opportunities by improving freezing technologies and making available other ethnic cuisine food items in this region.

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The market for ethnic group food in the Middle East and Africa is still at the nascent stage. The Asian food is one of the most consumed ethnic group foods in this region as this region is favorite among the consumers from Asian countries who are willing to relocate for jobs and explore new locations. The market is expected to experience steady growth attributed to the rising demand for Asian and Hispanic food from middle income groups.


Expansion Of Businesses In New Geographies

This market compromises of local players and the number of local players exceeds more than the international players. Local players are continuously trying to expand their businesses footprint in new countries. Considering the increasing demand for various ethnic cuisine food players are making their products available in international markets either by expanding in the market by themselves or by entering into partnership with other local players in the respective markets. Brands such as Beyond Meat have launched pork food in China considering the increasing demand for pork from Chinese consumers. In another move, the Mizkan Group expanded its Mizkan brand of Japanese sauces and rice vinegars in the U.S. with the launch of Mizkan America offerings.

In Thailand, the authentic Thai Dragon brand entered the Thai cuisine market in 2020. Its line of Thai snacks included a five Thai-inspired sauces including Thai Dragon Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce Original, Thai Dragon Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce Wasabi Flavor, Thai Dragon Black Fire Extra Hot Chilli Sauce, Thai Dragon Sriracha Chilli Mayo Sauce (vegan) and Thai Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce. With such innovations in products market players are trying to grab the opportunities to enter the new markets.  


  • Ajinomoto Co. Inc. (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Associated British Foods PLC (London, U.K.)

  • McCormick & Company Inc. (Maryland, U.S.)

  • MTR Foods (Karnataka, India)

  • Nestle S.A. (Vevey, Switzerland)

  • General Mills (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • Conagra Brands Inc. (Illinois, U.S.)

  • Tasty Bite Edibles Pvt. Ltd. (Pune, India)

  • Taco Bell (California, U.S.)

  • B&G Foods (New Jersey, U.S.)


  • June 2021: LIVEKINDLY announced its launch in China with two new flagship brands - Giggling Pig and Happy Chicken. Both of these brands are developed and manufactured locally to cater to Chinese consumer tastes.

  • November 2020: Beyond Meat Inc. launched Beyond Pork in China, its first product created for the Chinese market.


An Infographic Representation of Ethnic Foods Market

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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, competitive landscape, product types, and leading application areas of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the ethnic foods market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation:



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By Cuisine Type

  • Asian

  • Italian

  • Mexican

  • Other

By Food Type

  • Veg

  • Non-Veg

By Distribution Channel

  • Hypermarkets/Supermarkets

  • Convenience Stores

  • Grocery Stores

  • Online Sales Channels

By Geography

  • North America (By Cuisine Type, Food Type, Distribution Channel, Country)

    • U.S. (By Cuisine Type)

    • Canada (By Cuisine Type)

    • Mexico (By Cuisine Type)

  • Europe (By Cuisine Type, Food Type, Distribution Channel, Country)

    • France (By Cuisine Type r)

    • Spain (By Cuisine Type)

    • U.K. (By Cuisine Type)

    • Italy (By Cuisine Type)

    • Russia (By Cuisine Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Cuisine Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Cuisine Type, Food Type, Distribution Channel, Country)

    • China (By Cuisine Type)

    • India (By Cuisine Type)

    • Japan (By Cuisine Type)

    • Australia (By Cuisine Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Cuisine Type)

  • South America (By Cuisine Type, Food Type, Distribution Channel, Country)

    • Argentina (By Cuisine Type)

    • Brazil (By Cuisine Type)

    • Rest of South America (By Cuisine Type)

  • Middle East and Africa (By Cuisine Type, Food Type, Distribution Channel, Country)

    • South Africa (By Cuisine Type)

    • Turkey (By By Cuisine Type)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Cuisine Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 45.27 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 98.06 billion by 2028.

Growing at a CAGR of 10.33%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).

By type, Asian ethnic cusine food segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Globalization of regional products and the rise of online sales are the key factors that are driving this market

Ajinomoto Co. Inc., Nestle, and Conagra are the major players in the market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2020.

Rise of online sales in developing countries is expected to drive its growth.

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