TRENDS: The Seven Kinds of Food Buyer

Following on from my previous article about food & drink trends, please see below a list of 7 different types of food buyers our research over the years has identified….

1. We have the TIME STARVED – parents who cook / provide food for their families as fast as they can. They are easy-going in terms of nutrients, but despite cutting corners they still want to ensure their kids get the right stuff.

2. And then there’s PROVENANCE  – where does your food & drink come from? How much do people really care about this? Well, it seems to be increasingly important and more  and more consumers are checking labels to see where their food is produced. Local is best for many, but often only if they can afford it.

3. And, we are also continuously STRIVING FOR HEALTH – (the Doctor Dolittle effect – push me, pull you!) where consumers’ demands are pushing for healthier products while manufacturers are pulling, being under pressure to reduce salt, sugar and artificials in a bid to make the nation healthier. Cost Reduction is also becoming an ever increasing issue for both the consumer and the manufacturer and is resulting in changes to our products’ ingredients and potentially also their taste.

4. Combined with this comes the trend in HEALTHY EATING products – more and more manufacturers are offering low fat or even diet versions of their standard offerings in order to bring new users to their brands in an attempt to combat obesity, with most of the main supermarkets re-launching their own label healthy eating portfolio in the last year or so.

5. Nonetheless, it works both ways – there is always room for some INDULGENCE – we all need a treat sometimes and luxury versions work at the other end of the spectrum.

6. FREE FROM is also ‘on the up’ with new brands emerging in the market (gluten & dairy free) and Super Foods as well as non-GM. Not to mention the latest development with Stevia, the latest new natural sweetener. Our recent spotlight study took to the streets to understand the consumer view on artificial sweeteners. It seems that over a third of us CLAIM to think about whether food & drinks contain artificial sweeteners, so lets keep an eye on Stevia.

7. FUNCTIONAL FOODS – were all the rage a few years back (products that offer a specific health benefit) and have settled down as natural elements of the categories they sit in, but it’s become harder to make claims about what their functional benefits are as a result of European guidelines.

At Marketing Sciences we continually help to develop products in partnership with our clients that address all of these issues.  We have also just opened our bigger and better sensory centre which will continue to complement our more traditional consumer testing

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Laura Ablett
01962 842211
Article date - 10/10/2013
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