Posts tagged "food culture"

Farm to table dinner

10 Food Shopper Trends We’re Watching

August 21st, 2017 Posted by consumer behavior, Food Trend, Healthy Living, Insight, Navigation, Retail brand building, shopper behavior, shopper experience 0 comments on “10 Food Shopper Trends We’re Watching”

Fresh is the final frontier…

We believe that consumer insight should inform strategy. So we place a great premium around here on monitoring behaviors and cultural trends in the food business.  Even more so now that food retail is at a crossroads with e-commerce accelerating rapidly to compete for more shopping occasions.

Emergent recently examined a series of reports from the Food Marketing Institute and research company The Hartman Group, profiling shopping trends in the grocery retail business.

We’ve identified 10 developments worth watching as the food retail business continues to transform amid the growth of consumer preference for higher quality, more authentic and real-food products.

1. Of millennials, 43 percent are now shopping online for groceries at least occasionally, up from 28 percent in 2016 – a 15-point climb in one year!

2. Most of this growth is coming from households that shop online routinely, and thus are already comfortable with e-commerce transactions.

3. Important to note millennials are more likely, however, to buy packaged products online rather than fresh and perishable items.

4. Gen-Xers with kids are more likely than other cohorts to actively use grocery store apps.

5. Millennials with kids are more likely to participate in grocery store social networks.

6. Millennials are more concerned about CPG and retailer:

Honesty

Openness about animal welfare

Ingredient sourcing

Social responsibility

They are apt to make judgments on the basis of ethics and sustainability practices.

7. Twenty-three percent of grocery shoppers claim to avoid GMOs, mostly for health related reasons, ‘naturalness’ and a desire to know exactly what’s in a product.

8. Top three reasons consumers prefer locally sourced products:

Fresher –                               72 percent

Support local economy –   65 percent

Better taste –                        54 percent

9. Seventy-six percent of grocery shoppers think a home-cooked meal is healthier than out of home meal options.

10. Households with kids have the highest adoption rates for retailer prepared meal solutions; two out of three households purchase them at least occasionally.

Most impressive is the speed of change we’re observing in the food marketplace, and the need for retailers especially to work smarter. This is done by embedding uniqueness and differentiation in their banner brands, and creating immersive experiences for shoppers in both online and bricks and mortar environments.

For retailers and CPGs still vying for transactions, it’s critical to realize that consumers have changed the rules. Those brands and banners that embrace connecting to shoppers in ways they find more helpful and meaningful will earn the business and their loyalty.

More specifically, the path to consumer engagement is shifting and healthy lifestyle is driving this transformation. Emergent is a specialist in leveraging this insight to grow food businesses. We bring the latest insights and innovative strategies to help food businesses navigate the new consumer landscape.

Looking for more food for thought? Subscribe to our blog.

Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent, the healthy living agency. Emergent provides integrated brand strategy, communications and insight solutions to emerging and established 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.

Part 1 of The Emerging Brand Marketers’ Playbook: Product Experience Over Brand

March 15th, 2017 Posted by Food Trend, Retail brand building, retail brand relevance, shopper behavior, shopper experience 0 comments on “Part 1 of The Emerging Brand Marketers’ Playbook: Product Experience Over Brand”

The New Rules for Building New Food and Beverage Businesses

Emerging brands operate differently than legacy businesses. The path to market, to consumer interest and traction, is simply not the same as products with an established franchise in a category with deep roots.

The emerging brand playbook is governed by a distinctive rule of engagement – one that reflects a shift in consumer food culture to place greater stock in product experience over marketing and messaging wizardry fueled by tonnage of media spend.

Message to entrepreneurs who create new brands and large food companies seeking to acquire and scale them: put the traditional brand marketing game plan aside. Different rules prevail.

What’s driving the importance of this conversation now?

We are in the midst of a tectonic shift in the food and beverage business, favoring the growth and development of new independent brands that create their own distinctive categories.

The top 25 food manufacturers in the U.S. lost 300 basis points to small and medium sized players from 2011 to 2015. At the same time top line revenue growth for the nation’s largest food companies has slowed to 1.8 percent while smaller organizations have been gaining sales ground at an 11 to 15 percent clip over the same period. (Source: Hartman Group)

What’s going on here? Food culture shifts have run roughshod over businesses that at one time were stars in the food popularity contest – and rendered them less so. While new brands that integrate higher quality ingredients with deeper meaning and values, now take the lead in relevance to consumer desires. The consumer is clamoring for more unique, healthful, higher quality food experiences.

As a result, the largest food companies seek to buy their way in to this sea change through strategic investments and acquisitions. The equity investment market for emerging food companies is robust as innovative disruptors move into fresh and packaged categories with new and adventurous solutions-with-an-ethos.

These emerging brands live and grow by different imperatives than the ones generally thought to govern best practices in the CPG world. For the last 50 years, the brand-building rulebook has directed much of the thinking on marketing and communication: focused on creating equity and value in the brand.

But this emerging business world is much different and requires a fresh approach that is mindful of how early adopter consumers seek out and become fans and followers of these rising star foods and beverages.

Primacy of Product Experience

Which comes first, brand or product? In the brave new world of nascent foods and beverages, it is the fundamental design of these products that imbues them with uniqueness and differentiation to the established, mainstream stalwarts. And it is this specialness in experience that puts momentum under their sales and adoption.

Says the Hartman Group in their study on early, middle and late stage brand development: “Food culture has the knack for magnetically extracting the most unique and engaging food experiences from the clutter on the (store) shelf.”

This helps explain why emerging food and beverages that suffer from low to nearly no brand awareness thrive through their natural allure. The explanation for this is their systemic, beautifully curated connection to health and hedonic (indulgence) ideals and symbols now thriving in our food culture.

Beanitos – a cultural cue connection

In the packaged snack category Beanitos connects to emerging cultural preferences for nutrient and protein dense options. In this instance it’s the alternate carb base – beans – that forms the basis for its relevance and uniqueness. The symbolism creates its attraction: for smart, clever salty snackers.

The Three Rules of Emerging Food Brands

Rule #1 – Product Symbolism. It is the heart and soul of an emerging brand identity. The successful ones will connect directly, seamlessly with an up-and-coming insight into evolving food culture. Click here for our recent forecast on eight food culture trends impacting the growth of food and beverage businesses.

Rule #2 – The Importance of Channel. Natural and specialty retail serve as incubators for these developing stars. Consumers shopping higher-end retail are already on the hunt for truly differentiated experiences. They bring a more informed approach to food exploration. Simply said, these shoppers EXPECT to encounter interesting, new products.

Word to food retail: be the champion of these new experiences, and let food adventure inhabit your aisles.

Rule #3 – Product-Focused Communication. You are working to build awareness of a differentiated product experience. Sensory trumps brand. The focus is on product news and backstory – ingredients, sourcing, recipe and mission/beliefs.

Learn more by reading Part 2 of The Emerging Brand Marketers’ Playbook.

Looking for more food for thought? Subscribe to our blog.

Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent, the healthy living agency. 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.

Hartman Home Cooking Facts

The Dawn of Culinary Culture

June 6th, 2016 Posted by food experiences, Food Trend, retail brand relevance, Supermarket strategy 0 comments on “The Dawn of Culinary Culture”
A new era of upgraded home cooking has arrived.

A recent infographic from the Hartman Group (shown above) reveals that 77% of consumers across various generational segments – from Millennial to Boomer – prefer having home cooked meals whenever possible.

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Search for food culture relevance

Food Culture Trends Change the Rules for Product Launches

June 2nd, 2016 Posted by brand marketing, Brand preference, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Food Culture Trends Change the Rules for Product Launches”
For a generation in food and beverage marketing, the introduction of a new product has proceeded down a well-worn path of ‘launch media effort’ – and all that it entails to heavy-up communication across various channels of outreach.

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Couple Cooking

8 Food Culture Trends Transforming the Food and Beverage Business

April 28th, 2016 Posted by food experiences, Food Trend, Insight, Retail brand building, retail brand relevance, shopper behavior, shopper experience, Supermarket strategy, Uncategorized 0 comments on “8 Food Culture Trends Transforming the Food and Beverage Business”
Here is a true statement about securing the right path to growth whether you’re running a food company or food retail business:

The future of food and beverage belongs to solution-based specialists whose business operates from a platform of deep consumer insight.

Relevance to lifestyle interests and behaviors is paramount. Achieving alignment and integration with the things people care about is vital. It’s no longer just what you make or sell as much as it is about your ability to be meaningful and to matter.

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