In a fast-paced, ever changing world that seems filled with unpredictable politics and current events, consumers are seeking reassurance and safety in products they know. So rather than a product needing to be completely revolutionary to gain uptake, it’s more about innovating or re-invigorating the old. It can be as simple as a tried and trusted product offered in modern, grab and go packaging or it may be the inclusion of a word that links with the past, such as ‘ancient’.
What does this mean for Food and Drinks?
Over recent years we have seen consumers seeking out products and services that speak to authenticity, artisan and tradition. Aspects that instill comfort and trust in a world that continues to be topsy turvy. This consumer infatuation with all that is ‘real’ has lead to product stories that extend to the use of craft, artisan and handmade.
Linking Products to the Past
Consumers seeking comfort and trust from the past has led companies to innovate through releasing hybrid type products, for example cold-brew coffee and alcoholic root beer.
Products are also being adapted for new markets using heritage links, such as Guinness’s Nigerian release of an Africa Special Stout which contains locally sourced ingredients and packaging featuring artwork by a Nigerian graffiti artist.
According to Mintel’s Global Food and Drinks Trends 2017, we are going to see more products specifically link back to the past to gain trust with consumers. Mintel quotes a 269% increase since 2011, in global food and drink launches where the product is described as ‘ancient’.
We’ve already seen this happen in Australia through ancient grains. With their roots in the past, ancient grains haven’t been ‘modified’ and so retain more nutrition than many of the modern and modified grains. Their nutritional benefits have seen them become talked about as ‘super foods’.
However, this comfort from the past goes beyond just food and drinks. Consumers are not only seeking out food with links to the past but also recipes and traditions.
The Ongoing Love with All that Promotes ‘Health and Wellbeing’
Wanting healthier and cleaner lifestyles is motivating consumers to make healthier choices all round – prioritizing fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and botanicals. To this end we have seen a rise in products that focus on plants, flavours, fortifications and functionality.
This search for health and longevity has led to more consumers seeking out vegetarian and vegan diets. We can see this evidenced by the rise in vegetarian and vegan claims in food and drink launches. Plants are perceived as being packed full of nutrients that encourage wellness. To this end we see the continuing rise in products that contain ‘super food ingredients’.
Plants (Fruit, Veg, Grains) Are Moving to Centre Stage in Store
Plants are predicted to move from the edges of the store selling area to be more centre stage. This is happening with products such as noodles or pasta that have vegetables as an ingredient. These types of products take plants into a more optimum part of the store’s floor space. The priority for plants is going to mean acceleration in new products that have plants as the ‘hero’ or ‘star’ of the product.
Understanding Consumer Behaviour Around these Evolving Trends is Key
Knowing how to tap into consumer’s emotions to drive behaviour is crucial for food manufacturers, retailers and advertisers. Developing the right products and the right messages is a big part of what convinces the consumer to purchase. This is why consumer research is so important. Consumer feedback helps craft the right product, to the right audience with the right communication.
For more information about how we help our clients understand their markets, please give us a call at Truth-Serum.
Mintel – Global Food and Drink Trends 2017