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Leading Food Trends – The Resiliency Movement

Posted on | July 7, 2009 | No Comments

By Margaret Kime

Americans are a resilient people. In this time of financial uncertainty, global warming, food safety issues and community preparedness, the American “can-do” spirit is asserting itself.

Consumers are taking back-to-the-basics steps to regain control of their lives and reconnect with their communities – especially with food.

For example, home gardens are up 10%; Burpee seeds sales up 40% vs. 2007. Consumers are developing a deeper appreciation for home and locally grown foods, which are the best of both worlds: good value foods that are authentic and fresh, with a smaller carbon footprint.

The appeal of resiliency in food presents a significant challenge for marketers on two levels.

First, fresh, organic and authentic have been mainstay attributes of premium positioned products. As these attributes become readily accessible, at a value, the lens by which consumers judge premium in brands is changing.

Second, as consumers become more connected to their food and its role in community, national brands are at risk of feeling less authentic, more impersonal, more processed.

Several national brands are beginning to weave resiliency elements into their brand experience. Frito Lay’s potato chips now feature a chip location tracker, subtly connecting the brand to local farming.

And a recent Classico ad compares their sauce quality to one a consumer would make and call her own.

But tread carefully, as messaging that feels unauthentic in any way will emphasize the “industrial” nature of your brand.
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Margaret Kime is the Director of Innovation with brand-building consultancy Fletcher Knight

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