The shopping list in 5 trends

By Andrea Montes, member of the Baud team.

A scribbled list of your favorite products, a shopping basket half full and one consumption decision after another, infinite, instantaneous, almost automatic. All of them, loaded with answers to concerns that have not yet been expressed. We enter a labyrinth of corridors, walking between shelves full of shapes, colors and messages that demand our attention with the aim of being the chosen option. 

The purchase. Or, what is the same, that routine so common and daily that, in reality, hides a complex mechanism orchestrated to be what each consumer expects, long before, even, they know it. 

Over the years, the Food and Beverage industry has successfully traced its own path by adding functional and emotional value to solving basic needs. A sector driven by economic growth that has flourished sheltered by constant innovation and diversification. However, social progress and, ultimately, the current critical situation have brought about the transformation of our lifestyle and, therefore, of many of our consumption habits. Today, we are more aware, more demanding, more demanding and more influential consumers, and we expect new responses that combine empathy, functionality and intelligence. 

Therefore, for any Food and Beverage brand, it is essential to open your eyes and even better your ears to understand today's consumer and thus discover what are those small motivations that generate one movement in him and not another. Only in this way will they be able to create tangible value, provide real solutions and simplify vital moments. 

Real-time Innovation

The tsunami that destroyed the normality in which we lived only a few months ago has also washed away our old priorities. The consumption of Food and Beverage products at home has grown exponentially and today demands new solutions that generate a differential experience. What's more, today's consumer is more receptive than ever to testing new products, even in categories commodity, because all of them now present a leading role in their day to day. 

Innovation in brands, products or formats must be based on active listening to be able to anticipate needs that are still dormant, but, in addition, it must be accompanied by a great internal muscle that responds with agility and operational efficiency to the market through new and improved products in real time. 

The new digitization

Claiming that our daily reality has been digitized is nothing new, but understanding that the digital experience as we knew it is not valid in the long term, it is. Although the traditional supermarket will not disappear, the growth in sales of Food and Beverage products on platforms online raises a new paradigm for brands and consumers. 

The great challenge emerges in the creation of a digital experience that integrates and evokes key elements of the physical purchase of Food and Beverage products such as sensoriality, expert advice or the ideal flow of the customer journey. In addition, it is essential to solve the main pain points that continue to be the great barriers to entry to digital commerce, such as speed, reliability or delivery times. 

Likewise, it is observed how the role of the physical store can evolve towards an exhibitor of products whose objective is convenience and information, leaving the commercial transaction and loyalty to the channel online. The coexistence between physical space and space will be increasingly important online through synergies and omnichannel. 

Loyalty is in the brand

In moments of uncertainty, the human being takes shelter in the known. Due to the complicated health and economic situation that we are experiencing, the typical consumer is forced to reduce the cost of his shopping basket. However, the data confirms that you are not willing to sacrifice the value or quality of the products you consume. 

Today's consumer focuses on the essentials of a product, avoiding those unnecessary aspects or improvements that increase its price, but prioritizing the brand and its quality guarantee. Consumer loyalty is focused on the big brands that generate that feeling of trust and familiarity not only in terms of the product but also in relation to the origin and the production process. In addition, even the distribution brands are beginning to professionalize their speeches and products to be competitive and relevant against the big brands. 

Feed the planet

Talking about sustainability today is not a choice, it is already an obligation. Specifically, the Food and Beverages industry is one of the most noted in terms of waste and excessive use of materials that are harmful to the environment. 

The consumer, a committed activist, is demanding a thorough review of the processes to favor a transition towards a trade model that is respectful of resources and sustainable for the planet. An evolution that not only requires the personal effort of the consumer and government policies, but also and especially of organizations, their processes and products.

Clean and transparent labels, naked products, reusable packaging and a real purpose at the center of the business are configured as the engines of a more than necessary transformation. 

Health above all

Health is the epicenter of our conversations today and this is directly reflected in the expectations that consumers transfer to the Food and Beverage products they consume. 

The search for products that reduce our vulnerability and that work for the benefit of our immune system and, even, our emotional stability is one of the drivers most recurring purchases today. 

So much so that companies must be prepared to be that expert reference to trust. Health and safety go hand in hand to inform, raise awareness and educate people to take care of their own well-being through the products they consume. 

We collect these five specific trends for the Food and Beverages industry that open an unlimited spectrum of business opportunities, connection and relevance for all brands that know how to integrate them.

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Sources: Consumer Products Industry Outlook, 2020, Deloitte; The Customer Experience Imperative, 2020, McKinsey & Company; Reimagining Consumer Goods Innovation, 2020, McKinsey & Company; 10 Trends Post COVID-19, 2020, Opinno; The New Rules of the Future of the Planet, 2020, Fast Company; Global Consumer Insights Survey, 2020, PwC; Innova Market Insights for 2021, Innova; Expertise Baud 2020.

Image by Joshua Rawson-Harris.