Martien Boumans on foreign cuisine:

“Cooking shows and travel inspire consumers”

The Dutch love foreign cuisine. In fact, only about a quarter of the Dutch like their own cuisine, whereas 40% prefers foreign cooking. This according to research by Horecava. In particular the younger generation seems fond of the more exotic cuisine.

Boumans fruit and vegetables BV specializes in ready-to-cook dishes and mainly supplies restaurants and the institutional sector. Owner Martien Boumans thinks the popularity of his stir-fry mix has something to do with the popularity of foreign cooking. “On the one hand people want simplicity, not too much hassle. On the other there is this tendency to spice things up in the kitchen, to do something a little different. Cooking shows have a lot to do with this trend.”

According to Martien people are more conscious about what they eat than ever before. “International trade, and access to far-away markets have had an enormous influence on people’s creativity in the kitchen. French, Italian, Spanish and Greek dishes have always been popular, but the range is widening. We represent every conceivable international cuisine by the way.”

Things are also changing in the institutional market, says Martien. “There is a new category of elderly people who are open to new types of food. They no longer just eat what is being served. They are also aware of the importance of a balanced diet.”

Apart from cooking shows on TV, Martien refers to foreign travel as a source for inspiration. “Consumers go to exotic places, visit the Mediterranean, and come back with a renewed interest in foreign cuisine. We try to accommodate that interest.”

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