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A South American Culinary AdventurE

2024 Food & Flavor Outlook        July 2024          Custom Culinary®

Taste the Plate South America Header Image

Merging local, indigenous ingredients with those brought over from Europe, the distinctive cuisines of South America balance flavor and technique in unforgettable ways. 

Elements of Venezuelan, Brazilian, Argentine and Peruvian cooking have been shaped by history, geography and immigration—and, in turn, they are influencing the development of retail products and menu items all over the world.
On the snack side, chimichurri is making its way into salty favorites like chips, crisps and popcorn. Authentic street foods, like coxinha, can also inspire international snack offerings. With so many global cuisines already featuring croquettes, new fillings and dipping sauces serve as simple, appealing introductions to South American flavors.

  • Char-grilled steak and chimichurri flavored potato crisps, for an Argentine-style dish in snack form (UK)

  • Giant Peruvian Inca corn, a crispy salted snack made from large-kernel choclo (US)

  • Crispy shrimp and fish cake croquettes that are high in protein and easy to cook (South Korea)

Live-fire cooking (e.g. churrasco and asado) is an essential component of South American culinary heritage, and one European grocery chain is capitalizing with ready-to-heat meals inspired by Argentine chimichurri steak and Peruvian lomo saltado. Marinades and sauces for dressing meats in authentic flavors are also popular. Even within the South American market, traditional dishes are getting a makeover with new fillings and condiments.

  • Lomo saltado, Peruvian-style cubed steak with rice and black beans, tomato and onion (Italy)

  • Panca pepper paste, used to add a mild fruity and smoky flavor to grilled meats, stews and fish dishes (Canada)

  • Sorrentino pasta stuffed with salmon and sesame, rather than traditional ham and cheese (Chile) 

Around the world, foodservice operators are menuing traditional entrées in more accessible formats, like stuffed arepas or sandwiches. South America’s unique fusion cuisines—such as Italian-Argentine, Japanese-inspired Nikkei or Cantonese-style Chifa in Peru—can also serve as inspiration when incorporating new flavors into signature dishes.  

  • Venezuelan café offering pabellón criollo with rice, beans, shredded beef and plantains in arepa form (US)

  • Chorizo sausage on a crusty roll, known as choripán, loaded with authentic toppings (Japan)

  • Nikkei-style “soul street food,” including ceviche sushi rice bowl with Japanese vegetables, shoestring sweet potatoes, candied chilies and creamy aji amarillo sauce (Peru)

At its core, South American cuisine is rich in dishes such as grilled meats, stews, seafood and street foods that carry wide-ranging appeal. And vibrant sauces like guasacaca, aji criollo and chimichurri can bring a taste of authenticity to innovation across categories, enlivening sandwiches, pizza, eggs, tacos and more.


FOODSERVICE: South American culinary traditions are introduced to foodservice establishments both as authentic dishes and through fusion-inspired techniques.


Western markets are highlighting South American flavors, such as aji amarillo, in protein innovation. An opportunity exists for brands in Eastern markets to do the same.
Products taking inspiration from South American dishes and flavors include ready-to-heat arepas, chips designed for ceviche and chimichurri popcorn—demonstrating a range of snacking formats.


Inspired by his travels to Peru, Chef Daniel Roseira demonstrates the simplicity and versatility of an iconic dish—Causa Limeña—in our latest video. This layered casserole starts with mashed yellow potatoes mixed with Griffith Foods Aji Amarillo Sauce and can be customized with a variety of fillings. Watch as he creates chicken, tuna and mixed vegetable variations, all dressed with GL Foods Low Fat Veg. Mayonnaise.


Brazilian Moqueca Seafood Stew

The Stew of a Nation

Hearty and comforting moqueca is a Brazilian seafood stew, traditionally featuring shrimp or fish in a tomato and coconut milk broth. Onion, garlic, lime and coriander bring depth and aromatic appeal to this flavorful dish.

Moqueqa Spoonful of Seafood Stew


A Brazilian seafood stew featuring fresh prawns, hearty chunks of tomato and colorful bell peppers in a creamy coconut milk and tomato broth, seasoned with garlic, lime, cilantro and bird’s eye chilies.


The diverse cuisines of South America are poised to make an impact on menus and retail shelves worldwide. Contact your Griffith Foods representative to learn how our versatile products can enhance your culinary creations.


Our topical seasonings, marinades and brines bring classic South American spice blends and flavor profile to a range of new applications.

• Sofrito Seasoning
• Anticuchos Marinade
• Ceviche/Escabeche Marinade
• Juane de Arroz Rice Seasoning

Sauces and Dressings

Easily introduce consumers to South American cuisine through flavorful sauces and condiments that pair perfectly with their favorite items.

• Pollo Guisado Sauce
• Chimichurri Sauce
• Lomo Saltado Stir-Fry Sauce

Textures and Coatings

Authentic South American dishes can inspire the development of new formats—like a tempura batter reminiscent of Brazilian cheese rolls.

• Pão de Queijo Tempura Batter System


South American flavors have the potential to take the international culinary world by storm, across CPG and foodservice channels alike. What’s coming next?


Rather than simple country callouts (e.g. Peruvian-style, Brazilian BBQ), protein brands will promote more specific flavors and ingredients to educate consumers on a more nuanced level.


Snack brands will explore more adventurous ingredients, using regional specialties such as rocoto peppers that play into consumer demand for bold and spicy flavors.


Operators will take a contemporary approach to traditional South American cuisine, exploring fusion techniques that bring those flavors into African, European or Asian dishes.

2024 Food & Flavor Outlook Footer

Mintel, 2024 FlavorIQ® Food and Flavor Outlook Report, January 2024.
Rob Corliss, “3 Essential Latin Sauces,” Flavor & The Menu, July 11, 2023.
Steven Raichlen, Planet Barbecue! New York, Workman Publishing, 2010.
“Top 100 South American Foods,” Taste Atlas, December 1, 2023.


*Custom Culinary® is part of the Griffith Foods family of companies.