WELLNESS, VALUE AND IDENTITY: MINTEL DESIGNS THE FUTURE OF FOOD
Cereal Docks Food looks with great attention to the evolutions and dynamics involving the food sector, in particular in the current period, characterized by great uncertainty about the future and epochal changes.
Being updated on the latest news in the sector is now easier, also thanks to the numerous webinars and on-line conferences that explore the dynamics of markets around the world. This is the case of the first webinar of 2021 proposed by Mintel, a company based in London and specialized in market intelligence. At the beginning of the year, a focus on the new role that Food and drink sector and the brands of the food sector will play could not be missing.
There are three main areas identified by Mintel analysts in which Food and drink products can perform new functions towards consumers:
– Mitigate the anxiety produced by lockdowns,
– Provide cheaper but equally healthy products to people with economic uncertainties
– Helping people to overcome social isolation
From here, three trend drivers have been identified, namely three fundamental components that guide the process of change in the sector:
1 – WELL-BEING a renewed attention to well-being, not only physical but mental and psychological;
2- VALUE new ways to make consumers perceive tangible benefits;
3- IDENTITY unprecedented possibilities for brands to build social relationships.
Let’s briefly explore these new aspects that will guide the activities of food companies.
- WELL-BEING: FEED THE MIND
The world of food has always tried to meet the nutritional and psychological needs of consumers, but all of this is greatly amplified today. COVID-19 has encouraged consumers to desire greater physical health and well-being but increasingly mental and psychological as well.
If from the physical point of view the attention is always focused on the purchase of healthy, safe and quality products, from the mental one we can see the rediscovery of a series of “rituals” that took place during the pandemic: a series of activities that previously were typical of some market niches have regained a massive footing: from baking to the preparation of desserts, passing through coffee and even rediscovering the pleasure of washing dishes manually.
- VALUE: QUALITY REDIFINED
To undergo a sort of revolution is the idea of value: which is redefined by acquiring new variations of the concept of quality. For example, the ability of brands to know how to help the consumer spend time at home offering them activities to pass the time and interact, is also assuming an extra value today. A trend that has also affected essential products, which are trying to innovate to seek new possibilities to generate value, for example by improving the freshness, quality or shelf-life of products, and paying close attention to a more precise and detailed communication of their innovations. In fact, if well communicated, these innovations can push consumers to accept significant price differences in some product categories, but to do so it is essential that brands are transparent in correctly justifying a higher price by comparing it with the advantages that the product ensures.
- IDENTITY: UNITED BY FOOD
Food is a real system of signs, which communicates aspects of personality, culture and emotions and as such is a formidable force capable of creating community and sociality. The brands in the sector have made many strides to stimulate consumers to express themselves and involve them more and more actively in product design. The next step will see food brands increasingly committed to promoting the creation of communities online, but also off-line. Uniting and creating relationships between people with similar lifestyles and interests can be a revolutionary opportunity for the sector, which will no longer be able to offer them a simple product, but also a series of activities, workshops, presentations, exhibitions, surrounding spaces that will give possibility for people to express themselves and compare themselves with others, helping to grow and develop the community. In addition to common interests and preferences, brands can also encourage consumers to commit to becoming part of that change they wish to see, placing in this case as the cornerstone of the community, not so much people’s commercial preferences, but a series of actions ethically shared by some social groups.