Hot Food Trends: Part 3 – A Matter of Experience
No one knows with certainty what the hottest food trends
will be over the next several years, but The Hartman Group has focused on the
“why behind the buy” to look at four that may have a significant impact on the
business. RetailWire explores each of this series of discussions.
Food brands were king back in the 1950s and 1960s and, while still important, consumers are much more focused on what Jarrett Paschal, Ph. D. calls “food experiences.”
According to Dr. Paschal, these experiences bring with them different approaches to putting food on the table. Often, they are linked directly to a specific retail channel.
For example, during the week, busy working parents might opt to “outsource meal production” to a foodservice provider, be it a restaurant or retail store.
Another time, Dad may be in the mood for a little outdoor grilling and go to the neighborhood grocery market to pick up meats and produce.
Mom may want the experience of trying something from a favorite food magazine, cookbook or television show. This may involve a trip to the local grocer or, perhaps, a natural food store or gourmet market.
“Whatever the experience or occasion, branded products are simply far less relevant to the end goal (engaging meals) than they were 50 years ago, because few meal occasions and/or product experiences are ever staged around specific branded products,” according to Dr. Paschel. “Branded products may be useful in a pinch, or in the occasional lunch box or picnic basket, but branded food products are not the backbone of a compelling food experience.”
Discussion Questions: From your perspective, what role
does brand (also store/restaurant banner) play in consumers’ food experience
choices? Do you think the brand equation (could be private label) is downplayed/misread
when assessing why consumers purchase certain products or buy from specific