Taste, price and convenience are no longer the only factors that decide the purchase of food and drinks. An increasing number of shoppers also factor in other things, like health, safety, social impact, experience, ...
In short, they demand transparency. This new trend has nothing to do with demographical and regional thought patterns, according to an American study performed by Deloitte, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The study shows that it is not only the so-called "millennials" or wealthier consumers that have changed their purchase behaviour, but that the consumer in general is fundamentally changing. This gives manufacturers and retailers a huge challenge.
For example, consumers think differently about food safety nowadays, as it no longer merely related to health risks, but also about wellbeing and transparency. The presence of harmful substances, a clear and accurate label, a smaller number of ingredients and artificial ingredients all come into play.
Retailers' influence grows
These value shifts have extensive consequences for the food industry as consumers' preferences will fragment even more and a retailer's part to influence these decisions will continue to increase.
Whether someone is successful will hinge on the ability to create specific competitive advantages. Smaller and younger companies will use new technologies, collaborate with third parties and engage themselves to win the consumer's trust. Major manufacturers will have to adapt to meet those altered consumer expectations.
Consumers demand to be well-informed, more so than ever before. They will look things up online, through social media or mobile apps. Brands seeking a victory will have to provide the information the user craves, through the channels the consumer uses. To be clear: this goes well beyond the information placed on a label.