Welcome to 2018! This could be the hardest year ever for food and drink: there will be many brands that fail, but some will excel in this market.
Brexit: the word that keeps popping up in every conversation. There’s no denying the damage it has had on our economy and our currency, but at the end of the day we still need to eat and drink.
And then there’s the sugar tax. I’ve tasted some of the most revolting Stevia-based drinks that brand owners seem to think consumers will buy into to save a few pennies. But in that market, consumers buy for health and will return for taste – if it doesn’t taste good, it simply won’t sell.
But will it really make any difference? Governments pushing the price up to make more money and turn a blind eye to health issues didn’t seem to make much difference to cigarettes or alcohol consumption. having to pay more doesn’t stop people buying what they want, maybe they cut back but the health issues are soon forgotten about?
Having just returned from 4 weeks travelling Australia, I saw some great concepts and ideas in both food and drink; they’re very much focused on their health and we should look to them for innovation, as much as we do the US.
Brand Relations have been behind nearly 100 brands in the last ten years. While one of our core values is continuing to push innovation in the food and drink sector, we need to remember that NPD must be focused on identifying and satisfying a consumer need. Yet some of the concepts I’ve come across recently I wouldn’t even taste, let alone buy; consumers are not stupid and niche brands just don’t last long term.
So what’s the recipe to shaking off the negativity and uncertainty of 2017, beating the Brexit blues and creating traction with your food and drink brand? It’s simple: competitive pricing, a unique product that fulfils a consumer need, and, most importantly, tasting good!