In any business, staying in tune with current consumer trends is vital for success. A business cannot properly survive if the owner is oblivious to the consumers’ wants and needs. If the owner is in tune with his or her business’ consumer trends and understands what products to capitalize on, and marketing strategies to implement, the business can thrive.
Understanding consumer trends is incredibly crucial in the food manufacturing business. No industry has quite the swings in consumer trends like the food industry. In this blog, we’ll outline some of the key trends to consider for the success of any food business in 2023.
Taste, Texture, and Aesthetics
One of the most important (and more obvious) constantly-changing trends is the taste preferences of consumers. While there are other important factors – such as health and appearance – the taste of the product can make or break a company and should be kept at the forefront of all owners’ priorities. It is up to the owner to try and figure out whether his or her customer base is more interested in traditional tastes, or if he or she has customers with more adventurous palates.
Aesthetics and texture also play a crucial role in attracting customers. People are often willing to spend more on visually appealing treats, while varying textures cater to different preferences. This is especially important for food products accommodating dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free or vegan options.
The demand for healthier food options has grown exponentially in recent years, and has expanded past just taking out ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup or artificial dyes. Consumers are now looking for natural ingredients and alternative options that satisfy their health and nutritional requirements.
Food manufacturers must strike a balance between healthy and tasty. Ingredients such as whole grains, fruits, nuts, cocoa, and natural sweeteners allow owners to achieve this harmony. For indulgent treats, offering smaller, snack-sized portions can appeal to customers seeking a taste of nostalgia without excessive calories.
Freshness and Quality
Freshness is not necessarily a new trend, but it has grown in popularity in recent years. In fact, most consumers have been known to associate freshness with quality. Consumers often associate freshness with quality, which is especially relevant for retail food manufacturers and grocery stores. If a product doesn’t use fresh ingredients, customers are more likely to opt for a different option. Factors that consumers consider before making a purchase include:
- When was the product baked?
- What’s the expiration date?
- What is the texture, taste, or smell?
- How is the item packaged?
By using only the freshest ingredients, food business owners can maximize the freshness and flavors of each product, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing
A growing trend in recent years is consumers’ concern for the environment and ethical sourcing of ingredients. Food manufacturers should consider incorporating locally-sourced, organic, and fair-trade ingredients to cater to environmentally-conscious customers. Implementing sustainable packaging and reducing waste are other ways to align with this trend.
Personalization and Customization
Consumers increasingly desire personalized and customized products to meet their specific preferences. Offering customizable items allows customers to feel a stronger connection to your business. Embracing digital technologies for online ordering and customization can further enhance the customer experience.
As with any business owner, a food manufacturer must keep in tune with the latest trends in consumer habits and needs. This includes experimenting with ingredients and techniques to meet evolving tastes, textures, health, freshness, sustainability, and personalization trends. By keeping up with these ever-changing trends and utilizing digital technologies, your food business can remain at the top of customers’ minds.
Interested in learning more about Harvest Food Solutions and how we can help your food business? Give us a call to see a demo of our perishable foods software and how it can make an impact on your business