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According to a Daymon Worldwide article, “Private Brands Role in the New Eating Culture,” food innovation is not limited to just name brands, because eaters' desire for discovery overshadows their allegiance to their favorite brands with a willingness to explore the gamut of newness.
Sixty percent of eaters are willing to try a new brand just to have something different, and 67 percent make product selections according to whim or desire for variety more than a preference for a particular brand.
This desire for discovery is fueling consumer engagement with retailers, with 81 percent noting a preference for stores where they can always find unique products to try. In fact, this situation tends to favor private brands, whose success is not tied to moving massive volume of products and creating competitive advantage over many large national brand manufacturers, and also favors suppliers and retailers who fearlessly seek to bring new products to market.
While many households (31 percent) still try to plan their cooking and shopping to save on time and effort, they also recognize that plans often fall by the wayside. Meal planning now focuses less on recipes, ingredients, and main meal components and more on the desire to satisfy a wide range of taste preferences.
For 76 percent of adult-eating occasions, the content of the meal or snack is decided upon an hour (or less) before eating, and one in 10 planned occasions undergoes a change in plans (mostly because the mood for something else strikes).
One of the main ways households expand the range of their at-home food experiences is to tap into global cuisines, which are brought to their attention via travel, TV shows, restaurant dining, online information sources, and social networks.
The shift from a cooking culture to an eating culture opens up a world of opportunities to engage with eaters seeking unfamiliar food experiences that provide enjoyment and a break from the routine, the article said. This engagement requires an understanding of the cultural influence of food in terms of new taste experiences and ethnic culinary traditions that the eating culture consumer will embrace.
This understanding will help retailers and suppliers identify opportunities for private brand product mix expansion and innovation within their prepared food section, it said. Newness could be as simple as jazzing up select items with new flavors, ethnic spices, special ingredients, or suggested meal accompaniments.
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