It was great to share a virtual stage with IFST and Charles Banks from thefoodpeople talking about trend-spotting in the food & beverage industry. We spoke about the rise of sustainably conscious citizens and innovations that deliver on a people, planet & profit agenda.
We started the talk by showing how social data and prediction can spot growth trends. We mapped the conversations around White Claw as a brand example and the data in recent years revealed that consumer interests were gaining momentum for hard seltzer as a category. If innovation and R&D teams have foresight based on social interests, it can only lead to more human-centric ideas.
Charles talked about the world being at a ‘tipping point’ with today’s consumers facing very different choices than those from previous generations. He spoke about the world being in a moment of reset with consumers proactively leaning in to own that reset in their consumption behaviour.
Consumers expect brands to do the right thing. Conversations around transparency and validation are on the rise with consumers talking about the importance of ethical certification as a way of validating a brand’s actions. They are interested to learn about ingredients and want to feel like they are personally contributing to the solution.
We discussed how Feel Good, UK’s first climate-positive soft drink has earned accreditation with Planet Mark and is a brand that has committed to give back, and most recently, partnered with Project Seagrass a carbon sequestration initiative. Their sustainability strategy has permeated the business across all decisions, from supply chain to employee well-being.
Purpose-led brands will continue to differentiate and win because the consumers have already spoken. It was a morning well spent and we are grateful to the IFST for creating a platform to exchange ideas and meet fellow industry leaders.