April 18th, 2015 Posted by brand marketing, change, Food Trend, Insight, Transformation 0 comments on “LEADING TRENDS IMPACTING THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY – FIFTH OF A FIVE PART SERIES”

2015 food and beverage mega-trends

This is our fifth and final installment of Emergent’s “2015 Emerging Food Trend Forecast” series covering the top four food and beverage industry mega-trends for this year and implications for brand marketing and communications.

To recap Emergent’s top four food trends of 2015, they are:

  1. Quality is the new healthy
  2. Revolution in supermarkets and the rise of the groceraunt
  3. A growing league of culinary commandos
  4. The grand ingredient play

What does this mean for marketing?

Gone are the days of convincing and persuading – although if you step back to look at the state of advertising in many packaged foods categories, feature-benefit selling continues unabated like carbon on the underside of a sauté pan that just won’t come off.

Consumers have moved on. Here’s a statement from one of our favorite brand strategy experts, Bernadette Jiwa:

Time and again advertising tries to convince rather than move us, to give us reasons to choose rather than a desire to belong. We buy with our hearts not with our heads. From a cup of coffee to a penthouse suite, what’s more important than what the product does, is how it makes us feel. The answer to increasing sales isn’t to work harder to convince people of your advantages, it’s to help them to understand who they could become in the presence of your product.

This is a call for content marketing deployment. If relevance and value, emotional equity and helpfulness trump all things in the brand-to-consumer relationship, then feature selling is simply a relic of a bygone era.

  • Relationships matter and this isn’t a transactional proposition.
  • How can you put your brand in league with the consumer’s desire for more interesting food and beverage experiences?
  • How can food companies and retailers better coalesce resources to create culinary experiences consumers will love?

A well-known celebrity chef we worked with previously once said this about his view towards food life: “We taste with our hearts when we receive the gift of someone’s cooking. Cooking for family and friends allows us to celebrate their presence and helps keep them close. Shared food creates shared memories. The times spent in the kitchen and around the table are among the most meaningful moments in life.”

How can food and beverage companies participate in this adventure? How do we help celebrate the kitchen and the love that goes into what we do there? How can we become valuable and matter to those who embrace these experiences?

It may sound counterintuitive to talk about feeling and emotion as a path to commerce, but humans are not fact-driven analytical decision-making machines. Creating content that reaches those hearts begins with this insight, and flows into the channels people interact with most. Yes, it’s a social world and content is king.


Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent Healthy Living. Emergent provides integrated brand strategy, communications and insight solutions to national food, beverage, home and lifestyle companies.  Emergent’s unique and proprietary transformation and growth focus helps organizations navigate, engage and leverage consumers’ desire for higher quality, healthier product or service experiences that mirror their desire for  higher quality lifestyles. For more information, contact Bob@Emergent-Comm.com and follow on Twitter @BobWheatley.

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