Are you flexible with food? 53% of Americans consider themselves ‘adventurous’ eaters

NEW YORK — Cooking the same old recipes time and time again makes everyday meals a total bore, leading many to chase new flavors. It turns out the average American would travel nearly a half hour to eat their favorite food, a new survey revealed. 

According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, Americans crave adventure in their taste buds as nearly half (47%) are tired of cooking the same types of food at home. The average person tries at least six new recipes per month and reimagines their food by adding different seasonings (58%), using different base ingredients (52%) and incorporating more fruits and vegetables (38%). 

More than half of Americans (53%) consider themselves adventurous eaters and have tried a variety of cuisines, including Vietnamese (42%), African (42%), Korean (38%), Thai (37%), Middle Eastern (37%), and Indian (36%). 

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the American Lamb Board, the survey aimed to uncover what keeps people from branching out their taste buds beyond the basics. The leading reasons for not trying different cuisines were lack of opportunity (40%), unavailability in their area (26%), and fear of not liking it (24%). 

New food opportunities

When it came to actually trying new food, friend and family recommendations were the top reason why people tried a new cuisine (47%), followed by the place being conveniently located/nearby (39%) and when traveling (35%). 

Otherwise, 27 percent of Americans would be more likely to try a new food while traveling and 16 percent would be willing to try a new food cooked by their partner. 

Rather than cooking at home which may be tiring for some, Americans pointed to their favorite places to dine out including casual dining (52%) and family-style restaurants (42%). Interestingly, Americans have access to seven different types of cuisine options within a 10-mile radius. 

How to try new things at home

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top cuisine Americans cook at home was found to be American (75%), however, nearly half of those surveyed said they were tired of cooking the same types of food.  Global cuisine is very on-trend right now,” says executive director of the American Lamb Board, Megan Wortman, in a statement.

Regardless of their self-proclaimed adventurous eater status, Americans have tried mushrooms (74%), sauerkraut (57%), lamb (56%) and even liver (51%). But of those who haven’t branched into this territory, bison (22%), basmati rice (18%), kimchi (16%), curry (12%) and lamb (12%) topped the list of foods Americans are willing to try. 

Survey data also showed that 40 percent of respondents would be interested in eating more lamb if they knew more about nutrition, sustainable lamb production and practices. 

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by the American Lamb Board between March 10 and March 14, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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