What do customers want? Top 6 food trends to grow your business
As provider of the software solutions agilesFood (for the fruit, vegetable and food trade) and agilesTrade (trade with non-food consumer goods) we deal with current trends and cooperate with industry experts. This article was written by Brook Sauer Ruiz, founder and managing director of Elbys Organics, a food startup from Hamburg.
Developments in the food industry
The food industry has experienced a vast amount of change with the invention of computers. Players in the food industry have been quick to adopt new technologies and put them to good use in the market, allowing for massive growth. Product lifecycles are shorter, deliveries are faster, and fresh goods are available to customers faster.
With all the technology advances, the fact remains that the biggest profits will be achieved from keeping an eye on customer trends and delivering what they want. Here are the top customer trends to keep in mind as you plan the future of your food company.
Provide naturally healthy foods
The creation of mass-produced foods in the 18th and 19th century began as a legitimate way to feed the masses and improve the overall health of the people. However, in order to provide such foods, it became necessary to introduce conservatives, unnatural ingredients, and potentially harmful pesticides into the food supply.
In recent decades, we’ve seen an up spike in obesity and other food related diseases. Advanced scientific testing has helped us understand what food does in our body, and what is “good and healthy” for us. And consumers are listening to the results.
All food trends currently at play center around one commonality, health. Consumers are aware of the importance of eating healthy, and are looking for products with quality ingredients that are naturally healthy.
People eat with their eyes. It’s important that food look appetizing, especially with the visibility that social media has provided. But customers aren’t turning a blind eye to ingredients. Products containing artificial colorants might turn customers away. Finding a way to incorporate natural colorants in your food products will make all the difference to customers.
With all the newly gained scientific information about what food does to the body, comes the debate about which diet is the best. For example, Lactose free is a segment that has grown substantially in recent years.
Other dietary categories that are gaining scientific recognition and popularity are Vegan, Mediterranean, Keto, and Paleo diets. Highlighting the dietary benefits of your products add value to the growing segment of customers with special needs.
With limited shelf space, it’s understandable that brands and grocery stores would only want to offer the highest selling items. But we’re seeing more and more online shops popping up that cater to different dietary preferences. KetoUp for example, is a German based online shop devoted to providing food for the low carbohydrate Keto diet.
Clear and honest labeling practices
Customers read labels. Although challenging, there’s a great push for food manufacturers to do away with artificial ingredients and find a way to provide food ingredients that are easy to understand.
Smart Label is a hot new app making waves in North America. With one scan of the barcode, customers are given a variety of information about what’s in the product, and information about the company.
Providing customer with clear and honest labels are a great way to build confidence with the customer and increase brand loyalty.
People today are busy. More people eat on the go than ever before. Convenience food has been gaining popularity in recent years, and shows no sign of slowing down. Creating easy to consume food products, that are packaged in ecofriendly and unique ways will equal profits.
Choices and variety
Customers want to be surprised and delighted. They want to try new and unique flavor combinations. Adding an unexpected twist to a flavor profile can be a great way to inspire new customers to buy.
This is especially true for the beverage sector. Water laced with cucumber, or juice infused with unique ingredients like ginger or acai grab the customers’ attention. Calling attention to the added health benefit of special ingredients is also a winning strategy.
Customers are key
Keeping an eye on customer trends is a great way to stay ahead of the game. Customers are driven to purchase by the feeling that the product is in line with their lifestyle, health needs, and belief system.
A comprehensive product that represents what the customer is looking for is the perfect storm of healthy ingredients, beautiful presentation, with social and environmental responsibility.
To learn more about these trends and how to grow your business, contact us.