Toronto, ON (December 19, 2019) – Fast-casual restaurants serving Middle Eastern food are rapidly expanding across Canada, revealing a massive shift in the way consumers are choosing to dine.
Middle Eastern cuisine has been on the rise within the past 2 years, with Whole Foods naming it as one of the top culinary trends in 2018 because of its fresh, healthy and authentic flavours that consumers are now demanding.
According to Euromonitor, from 1994-2014 the fast-casual industry has grown 550% and is expected to be worth as much as $66.9 billion dollars by 2020.
Restaurants Canada also stated that ethnic and locally sourced foods, as well as vegetable and/or vegetarian appetizers were 3 of the top 10 hottest trends for 2019, which are all components at the heart of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Omar Al Tabbaa, CEO of Azkadenya, a fast-casual chain from the Middle East that’s recently expanded into Canada, explains this trend. “We chose Toronto as the home of our North American Flagship because the research backed up what we already know. Toronto truly values its multicultural society.
The trends reflect the way people cherish the diversity of flavours that exist across the world. Not only is it a great business environment and ecosystem, the way people have responded to our dishes (especially the vegetarian mezza) shows that there is a real commitment and positive attitude towards accepting new concepts.”
With a profound market shift to plant-based alternatives, fast-casual Middle Eastern restaurants appeal to consumers who are looking for vegan or vegetarian options, which are staples to this type of cuisine.
“Toronto celebrates and loves exploring international cuisines, food that reminds them of places they’ve visited or even their heritage. Mediterranean mezza is found in many cultures and is rich in ingredients that are good for you, which people world-wide are rightfully starting to prioritize” said Aboud Almourady, managing partner at EAT Canada Inc.
Middle Eastern, fast-casual chains like Azkadenya have set their sights on the North American market and this new evolution of food will continue to shape and change the dining landscape across Canada.