When a producer’s new product line is in its infancy, they put a lot of time and effort (and often money, too!) into creating the perfect branding.
And it works. But months or years later, customer priorities and food trends have changed, and their branding hasn’t evolved alongside it. Food trends are out there shaping brand identity and driving innovation, and if you don’t pay attention, you’ll find yourself left on the shelf.
Brands are based on their customers.
One of the most prominent ways food trends influence brand development is by making brands more consumer-centric. Today’s consumers are more informed and health-conscious than ever before. They seek brands aligning with their dietary choices, ethical values, and taste preferences. Brands adapting to and catering to these evolving consumer demands gain a competitive edge.
For example, the rise of plant-based and vegan diets has spurred the growth of brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. These companies have successfully tapped into the trend by offering plant-based alternatives to meat products in response to consumers who want to reduce their environmental footprint and adopt healthier eating habits.
Customers are always looking for the next thing.
Food trends often push brands to innovate and regularly diversify their product offerings. This drive for innovation keeps brands relevant and helps them stand out in a crowded market. They can then capture the attention of adventurous consumers looking for unique and exciting experiences and reignite enthusiasm in existing customers.
The Craft Brewery example.
Craft breweries are a great example. They continually experiment with flavours, ingredients, and brewing techniques to create new and exciting options. This innovation attracts beer enthusiasts and helps craft beer brands differentiate themselves in a market traditionally dominated by larger, more established players.
Aligning your brand with health priorities
The growing emphasis on health and wellness has led to a surge in demand for healthier food and beverage options. Brands that can align with this trend by offering low-sugar, low-sodium, organic, or functional food products can gain a competitive edge. Health-based food trends do change regularly, though – remember when you couldn’t move for low-carb/Atkins products?
Set your sights on sustainability.
Sustainability is no longer a niche concern but a mainstream expectation. Brands demonstrating their commitment to sustainability through responsible sourcing, waste reduction, and eco-friendly packaging are much more popular with environmentally conscious consumers.
Develop your brand.
Companies like Patagonia Provisions, an offshoot of Patagonia’s outdoor clothing brand, have taken sustainability to heart by offering a range of food products that prioritize regenerative agriculture and responsible sourcing. Their brand development revolves around their mission to “Save Our Home Planet,” attracting consumers who share these values.
When it comes to food branding, the only constant is change. Brands that understand the dynamic relationship between food trends and brand development are better equipped to thrive in this landscape, and by remaining consumer-centric, embracing innovation, aligning with health priorities, and championing sustainability, brands can adapt and evolve alongside their audience’s ever-shifting tastes and values.