Spotting trends is one thing, taking advantage of them is another. These are three current trends that could affect the food industry. Knowing about them is the start, acting on them is how to finish with a winning product and/or service.
SMALL IS THE NEW BIG
People in the past decade were focused on the idea that bigger was better. We now see these same people downsizing their homes, cars, budgets, expectations, and yes, their portions. Sure, shoppers still roll out of Costco and Sam’s Club like they’re stocking their underground bunkers for Armageddon, but some people are also making shopping for food items a daily routine—like they do in Europe—and getting fresh, organic, and locally grown produce to prepare their meals . . when they have the time. (See the next trend for more on this.) .
Everyone knows what to do to lose weight (burn more calories than you take in) but not enough people put this into practice. Sure, many would love to exercise more but their daily commute, kid’s busy schedules, and longer hours on the job make this (almost) impossible. So the only other way to lose weight is to eat less. This is something busy individuals can do by eating less per serving, but eating more often.
Some products are perfect for mass marketing, but many more benefit from micro marketing—targeting the perfect person for your product using analytics. This saves time and money and if presented properly is appreciated by the person receiving the message. It’s “almost” like you are doing them a favor for showing/teaching/informing them of something they will absolutely love. We can thank Amazon for making this kind of marketing more mainstream.
You used to ask someone if they “had a minute” and they would say, “sure”. That is not the case any longer. People aren’t just busy, they are beyond busy. They would love to cook for their kids (who are just as busy as the parents with organized activities) but don’t have the time. Products that taste great (and we all have a more discerning palette thanks to cooking shows) and are quick and easy are a hit. You probably already know this—people want gourmet food on the go—but many times a person will pass on a product that takes 20 minutes to cook in favor of something that only takes five minutes. We need to provide faster and better items for people who can’t spare a minute. More and more of us are realizing that time is money and we will pay more for something that saves us time. One example (and there are hundreds like this) is when a shopper would rather grab a pre-made sandwich than wait for one to be made at the deli—even if it costs more. Saving time is a top priority for most people and they are looking for “fast” foods that save a minute or three.
TRUST A TOTAL STRANGER? YES
In the past we relied on real reviewers for opinions on what was best. Now, we rely on each other—and perfect strangers. It’s a time-saving tool to have someone else who has been there and done that tell us if something is worth spending our shrinking discretionary income on. We can’t tell people what to write about our products, but we can make every effort to win over those who are the most active on social media. We also can’t let anyone walk away angry with one of our products or services. For every unhappy customer hundreds more will hear about it (in real time).