Page 14 - December2018
P. 14

Meet the New Food Connected Consumer
By SuSie FogelSon, Founder and ChieF exeCutive oF FogelSon & Co.
Does it feel like most people you meet these days are ‘foodies’ to some de- gree? We know, everybody eats. And
while not everybody cooks, one can con dently assume that given the choice, a positive food experience is preferred over a blah, or even negative one.
Now, that alone doesn’t make one a foodie. But consider the notion that as someone choos- es more and more of these positive food expe- riences (from recipes, to well-reviewed restau- rants, to clean labels, to plant-based proteins, to programmed content ... you get the idea) they come closer and closer to being at least a foodie relative. Technology has assisted the democratization of food, and our relationship to it has changed. We’re all critics and content producers, we have access to techniques and  avors from around the entire globe, and we all have that friend on social media.
At F&Co., we set out to gain a better un- derstanding of this new foodie, a group we call the Food Connected Consumer (FCC). Foodies were a relatively small group, but 62 percent of the US, that’s roughly two-thirds of the population, are Food Connected.
Research, commissioned by F&Co., was conducted by Jump Rope Innovation via an online survey; a general sample of consumers was screened to meet the following criteria: Age 18 – 54; Have at least some involvement with food decisions and behaviors (purchasing, cooking, in uencing out-of-home eating deci- sions). This alone wouldn’t place one in the Food Connected Consumer column; quali ed respondents answered a variety of questions aimed at helping us de ne Food Connected Consumers and, subsequently, pro le this group multi-dimensionally.
The nearly two-thirds of Americans who are Food Connected Consumers spend $835 billion annually. They de ne themselves as having an “average or above” level of passion for food, and the content they consume re ects this. Ninety-one percent of FCCs look online for recipes and cooking ideas, and 56 percent watch food shows on TV/Net ix/ YouTube and other media. They are a well-in- formed group when it comes to their interests,
Our access to information has changed what we’ve come to expect from brands across verticals, and this demand for transparency plays out in FCCs in a somewhat expected way.
however, when asked for a “go to” source for food info and inspiration—with options ranging from social media, to friends (word of mouth), to TV, newspapers, and magazines— no single source received much above 20% of votes. For brands trying to reach FCCs, there are a couple of implications: 1. There is an opportunity to tell a truly robust story, utilizing multiple platforms, formats, and channels, all working together to build the right narrative; 2. Content planning requires a proper mix of media for brand stories to truly resonate.
Our access to information has changed what we’ve come to expect from brands across verticals, and this demand for transparency plays out in FCCs in a somewhat expected way, given their media consumption around one of their favorite subjects.
100 percent of FCCs are concerned about where their food comes from—and this is about more than blockchain tracking. They care about who the people (companies) are behind the food, what they stand for and how they’re making the world a better place, because they care about where they spend their money. Of course, FCCs are mindful about what they put into their bodies, many seek to optimize health through diet.
75 percent of FCC say they “doctor or change recipes to suit their needs, (sure, some of this may attributed to  avor pref- erence and ingredient availability). Knowing what kind of range a food product has—how and where it can be used as a substitute— becomes of greater importance to FCCs, and in-turn, brands selling those products (in some cases, even adjacent brands). Food Connected Consumers’ passion drives a hunger for new experiences, which leads to exploration.
67 percent of FCC consider themselves food explorers. Global Flavors has been a growing food trend over the past several years with tastes evolving to embrace Korean, Fili- pino, and Vietnamese cuisines.The FCC palate craves a more diverse range of  avor brands shouldn’t be afraid to serve it up.
The overall implication for any brand trying to resonate and engage with FCCs: Tell the food’s story. Tell the full story. Tell us where the food came from, how was it made, how it got into our hands; moreover, tell us why it’s a better option for the world than a compet- itor’s product sitting next to it. Tell us why it was created in the  rst place, why the world needed it. FCCs are aware of the intercon- nected nature of this planet, the environmental and social issues that have a strong impact on food. The full story should start somewhere around: ‘wanting to make something better, for consumers, for communities, for the planet’; and end at ‘delicious.’
Fogelson & Co (F&Co), Brooklyn, NY, is a boutique strategy and branding  rm that helps companies, private equity and innovators in the food, hospitality and beverage industries develop compelling and sustainable food stories and a differentiated brand identity. F&Co was founded by
Susie Fogelson, who is well-known for leading marketing and strategy for the Food Network and Cooking Channel.
Jump Rope Innovation (JRI), Hills- dale, NJ, is a premier trends and in- novation consultancy that partners with large global packaged goods brands and small start-ups alike, in
service of smart innovation. JRI uses a hands-on, experi- ential approach to uncover the “what” and the “why” of consumer and category trends, and to bring these learn- ings to life through break-through platform identi cation, idea generation and concept development.

   12   13   14   15   16