Choice is a wonderful thing, but it can be overwhelming. And does it always signal value? Charlotte Commarmond, vice president of global marketing at Ingredion, explains why the complexities of consumer needs call for collaboration to bring together all the vital elements that will build brands.
According to Mintel, ‘Intentional Spending’ is one of the five global consumer trends for 2023.1 As consumers focus evermore on what matters to them, products with specific features and benefits are playing increasingly important roles in the way we perceive value. Alongside this, ‘Hyper Fatigue’ has emerged as another trend, suggesting that consumers are attempting to cut through the noise and make meaningful connections with what matters to them, for example fair trade and sustainability.
Responding to trends and evolving consumer behaviour is nothing new for food providers. But achieving success today is less straightforward when you consider the increasing complexity of the global food system.
Inflation is at its highest for decades and rising, and global supply chains continue to be disrupted. Meanwhile, exposure to global cuisines and cultures have driven even more sophisticated food choices and higher taste expectations. Technology is also playing a significant role in increasing consumer expectations, from on-demand food delivery to 24/7 information access at the touch of a button — everything from preventative health to label transparency. As a result, consumers expect “more” and believe brands and manufacturers should be doing more to meet their needs.
The consumer algorithm
Consumers expect everything from their food. Low-sugar, high-protein, clean label, organic, more nutritious, sustainable, the list goes on. And all this while consistently hitting the mark on taste. They ask themselves what they want to eat multiple times a day and have come to expect a variety of different features and benefits at each eating occasion: great taste, better nutrition, transparent communication, and alignment to personal values at a fair price that enables them to feel good about the choices they are making.
For food providers, the ability to respond to a growing list of consumer needs while balancing inflationary pressure and global supply challenges creates unprecedented complexity and keeps brands continuously reformulating familiar favourites to keep pace.
A collaborative solution
Because consumers eat foods, not ingredients, it’s even more critical to navigate through the complexities to deliver great tasting eating experiences consumers expect with the features and benefits they want, while overcoming manufacturing obstacles. The focus on meeting the consumer algorithm for value requires manufacturers to think about both the art and science of food and beverage development, maximising the flavour and sensory experience to deliver delicious, nutritious, and sustainable products that will wow consumers and, ultimately, build brands.
Consumers ask themselves what they want to eat multiple times a day and have come to expect a variety of different features and benefits at each eating occasion: great taste, better nutrition, transparent communication and alignment to personal values at a fair price that enables them to feel good about the choices they are making.
This increasing list of consumer expectations and the constraints of today’s market make it crucial for manufacturers to find the right partner to help navigate through this complexity and deliver simplified solutions that can be executed at scale and speed.
‘Own the AND’ is the latest innovation from Ingredion that does just that. Translating the complexity of consumer needs calls for collaboration to bring together ingredients, insights, tools, and formulation expertise in order to create and reformulate products that consumers will love.
It’s about showcasing the incremental value of a tailored bundle of benefits into a single delicious product whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That way, food and beverage brands and their consumers can be confident they are delivering more value every step of the way. Crispy AND delicious AND healthy. Plant-based AND sustainable AND high-fibre. Yes, it is possible.
Do you want to create and reformulate delicious on-trend food and beverage applications?
Join this Spotlight On webinar event on February 9.
The team at Ingredion leverages consumer insights and industry expertise to serve as master decoders for its customers’ brands by identifying and understanding the attributes they seek. Grounded in science and consumer insights, Ingredion’s tools, techniques, and services can help food and beverage brands uncover the right product features and benefits by dialling in the drivers that create actionable solutions that deliver in-market success.
Ingredion’s experts will address what it takes to be successful in today’s marketplace and unveil the tools and techniques to help create and reformulate delicious on-trend food and beverage applications.
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to put your questions to the experts.
1. 2023 Global Consumer Trends, Mintel