We are what we eat: the market potential of ethnic foods

When people migrate from other cultures to Switzerland, they bring their preferences for the food of their countries of origin. We are what we eat! This article explores the systematic relationship between immigration and food imports for various product categories. The results show that food imports in almost all product categories rise most strongly with the number of Asian migrants. By contrast, migration from European countries increases food imports in only a few product categories. Not all foods must be imported, however: there are already Swiss farmers who have specialised in the ethnic foods market. The findings of this study suggest that the market potential of ethnic foods is likely to increase most strongly with migration from Asia, driven not only by the different eating culture of Asians, but also by the growing popularity of Asian cuisine among the Swiss.

To the archive