I love researching and monitoring food trends. When you’ve been doing it for several years, you can actually see trends evolve, drive product development and penetrate the marketplace.
One of the important strategies I use in my work with clients is to research and evaluate current trends to see how I can apply them to my clients’ businesses. Being up-to-speed with trends and making them part of your business culture is one way to future proof your business and your on-pack message.
Google the words “food trends” and you will get thousands of hits. I am a fan of The Food Channel’s Top Ten lists. They do them annually and they have huge credibility in selecting food trends, given the depth and breadth of the food world they see. Here is a link to their 2012 trends list (http://ljxxx.ljgppediboofm.ljdpn.nl4.gsr.awhoer.net/articles/article/top-ten-food-trends-2012/) and for 2013 (http://ljxxx.ljgppediboofm.ljdpn.nl4.gsr.awhoer.net/articles/article/top-ten-food-trends-2013/).
So how do you put trends to work for you?
A Case Study Shows How Using Trends Works
Edible Gems: Introducing a New Food Category to Australia
I was hired by stone fruit growers Michael and Jina Tripodi in Victoria, Australia to develop the packaging, branding and on-pack message for a new product they were bringing to market – freshly shelled beans and peas.
While a product like a fresh Borlotti bean is not new to most countries, freshly shelling the beans and putting them into ‘stay-fresh’ pre-packed punnets with a 14 day shelf life is. As far as my research showed, we were working on a world first new category.
One of the first things I do is research to find the consumer angle and sure enough came across The Food Channels Top Ten Foods list for 2010. One of the items on the list was beans and I knew we were onto a winner.
When I created the brand for this new product, I took into account the bean trend and designed the brand to include an entire range of beans/peas in the future. This ensured the brand was ‘future-proofed’ and could accommodate many more products in the range.
The second aspect of research was understanding consumer ‘perceptions’ of fresh beans and legumes. To do this, I did research in the food blog space. There were hundreds of posts on the merits of fresh beans and legumes and this research enabled us to understand users and then create the brand story based around items of interest from a consumer point of view.
Background Research is Smart Marketing
What was the cost of doing the background research? Aside from my time to research and interpret the information, there was no cost to access the information.
Background research is CRITICAL if you want to develop a new brand or if you want to change your packaging to be more consumer driven.
The best way to approach the research is with an open mind. Start with food trends and as you read and understand them, find ways to link them to your product, brand and your brand story. This is one of the easiest ways to future-proof your brand…and message.