‘Taste Tomorrow London’ was hosted by Puratos UK at the National Bakery School, London South Bank University. Over 100 customers from industry, retail, bakery and distribution gathered to hear the results of a global study which provided insights into emerging consumer behaviour, perception, future trends and attitudes relating to bakery, pastry, patisserie and chocolate.
Hakim Zemni managing director at InSites Consulting presented the results of the study, unveiling four key observations:
- age of abundance: the future of food lies in its availability, innovation, variety and convenience. Consumers’ expectations have increased exponentially over the last three years and they expect food to become more available in more varieties to meet their daily needs, in terms of convenience (on the go and readymade). As a consequence, food producers have an even greater need to innovate.
- food under pressure: in spite of growing abundance, diversity and innovation, food quality and healthiness are under pressure. Consumers fear that food in the future will be of lower quality, not as healthy, less natural and more expensive.
- lost in translation: a key observation that demonstrates consumers are overloaded with messages about what is good and what is not so good, therefore creating uncertainty thereafter leading to beliefs being built on perception rather than fact.
- sustainability was unveiled as a key point, with consumers being far more aware not only about wasting food but from their perspective it is also about wasting money.
Freshness, healthiness and taste
Findings from the research detailed that when consumers buy bread, pastry, chocolate or patisserie their decision is driven by three key criteria: freshness, healthiness and taste. These three elements form what Puratos refer to as the ‘baked goods triangle’, which are essential areas the industry should address when looking at innovation.
De-regulation of life
Paul Flatters, chief executive of the Trajectory Partnership followed the results of the global study with a presentation on ‘The factors driving future consumer behaviour’, which detailed the forces shaping modern consumer behaviour.
One of the key drivers behind the consumer behavioural switch being the ‘De-regulation of life’ concept. Paul commented: “Part of this is driven by legislative changes, e.g ’24 hour’ drinking or Sunday shopping, but it is also driven by the rise in flexible working, changing gender roles and technology access.”
The global study consisted of qualitative research conducted by InSites Consulting for Puratos in two phases; the first of which were two hour online discussion groups to examine key trends in the baked goods industry. The second phase consisted of in-depth conversations with online communities to uncover new trends and develop new ideation sessions in the online communities. All conversations were held on an online platform. The qualitative research was then reinforced with a quantitative survey which consisted of a 20 minute questionnaire completed by almost 11,000 respondents spread over 25 different countries.
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