Instore - August 2018 - 46
Companies use the power of narrative
to pull curious consumers in
ncreasingly, consumers seek more than sustenance from the food
and beverages they buy. They desire discovery, enjoyment and
excitement, says Mindy Hermann, a market analyst for Innova
"Globalization has sparked the adventurous consumer's curiosity,"
Hermann said during a presentation at IFT18, the Institute of Food
Technologists' annual meeting and food exposition in Chicago.
"Consumers want to discover new experiences. They may not necessarily be able to hop on a plane and go to another country, but they can
experience another country through food, through world flavors and
through unique stories."
The number of global food and beverage launches with a "discover"
claim increased 52% from 2016-17. One in 10 European and North
American consumers are driven by novelty and variety when buying
food and beverage products, according to Innova Market Insights.
"Adventure is another part of discovery; giving people the sense of
adventure without leaving their own homes," Hermann says. "Food
trucks have done a tremendous amount to bring global cuisines to a
local level and give people a sense of adventure without leaving their
"What you see happening is regions pulling away from their own
foods and turning to other cuisines," she says. "In the U.S. over the past
five years, products with American flavors are down, Mediterranean
flavors are up. But if you look at Latin America, Latin American flavors
are down, and American flavors are up. There's this blending of borders
46 * AUGUST 2018 * instore
Brands may engage with consumers by telling the unique story behind
the product or company. Global food and beverage launches tracked
with a "traditional" claim posted 10% average annual growth from 201317. Global food and beverage launches tracked with a social ethical
claim grew 20% last year over 2016.
"There are all sorts of do-good narratives on packaging to help people
understand the story as part of the discovery process," Hermann says.
Product developers may seduce shoppers with indulgent flavors
and textures and enticing language, Hermann says, suggesting such
descriptors as "sumptuous," "tingly," "dreamy" and "heavenly" on packaging. One in 10 U.S. and U.K. consumers are influenced by texture and
flavor claims when buying food and beverage products.
"Enjoyment is paramount," Hermann says. "Consumers are expecting
more, so brands are enticing consumers with strong visual language,
sensory language, indulgence and also romance language."
Also on the rise are global food and beverage products tracked with a
"share" claim, up 50% from 2016 to 2017. "We've gone from family size to
share size because the family is being redefined," Hermann says.
Unexpected flavor combinations and limited-edition products
generate consumer excitement, Hermann says. Interactive packaging
and exclusive content or rewards may also build buzz.
"As consumers desire newness and variety, brands are using bolder
flavors, bolder colors, novelty flavors, packaging and bringing in that
element of surprise that gets consumers excited about the product and
gets them buying over and over," she says.
Street food flavors are growing in packaged snacks and ready meals.
Around the world, consumers are adopting foods and flavors from
other countries, Hermann says. Nearly a quarter of food and beverage
launches tracked with an ethnic flavor are from private brands.
and more and more people incorporating into their cuisine foods from