Phil Lempert’s food trends for 2014
Phil Lempert, a consumer analyst in the U.S. known as The Supermarket Guru, has revealed his “Top Ten Food Trend Predictions for 2014” list.
Lempert gave us a preview of it at a seminar before the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in Las Vegas.
The trends he developed take into account the changing retail environment for stores that sell food, as well as changes in consumer behavior.
“I think the key is very simple – it’s understanding your shopper,” says Lempert. “Job number one for every food retailer is to really know in-depth what their shopper desires are, what their shopper wants are, and then to create that and to fulfill that need.”
Here is his top ten list:
1. The Emergence of the “IndieWoman”
Lempert says women, age 27 and up, spend $50 billion a year on food and beverages. “The indie woman will be the most powerful segment of the population in the coming year,” he says.
2. Better for You Snacking
He says the push for five to six smaller meals throughout a day is driving this trend. Interestingly, Lempert says research shows 69% of consumers still prefer salty snacks. So, he says, the balance between taste and health is important for manufacturers to refine.
3. Brands Reach Consumers Locally Through Cause Initiatives
Lempert says consumers support brands and retailers who support causes that they identify with (hunger, animal welfare, etc…). In addition, it’s important, he says, for retailers to take action to support the communities they serve after something like a natural disaster, to form a stronger connection.
4. Click to Cook
Of course, more people are using mobile in the store to save money, compare prices, or look up recipes. But Lempert also envisions more people taking advantage of targeted location services, like their GPS screens in their cars, to provide information on things they could purchase on a shopping trip.
5. Supermarkets – The New Culinary Schools
Many supermarkets have chefs on staff, helping their shoppers with new ideas for their daily meals and nutrition. But Lempert says they could take this further with a “community cooking center.” Essentially, the store’s staff could be a mentor to shoppers, but it’s more about the community coming in to use the store’s space to cook, learn and relate to each other.
6. The Retailer Becomes the Brand
Lempert says no longer will private brands just emulate national brand products, but consumers will see more private label brands creating new unique products.
7. Rise and Shine – The New Way to Start Your Day
People, especially men, don’t want to compromise on the blend of indulgence and taste at breakfast, Lempert says, and it’s beyond bacon and eggs. “What do we do here to make breakfast exciting?”
8. Packaging Evolves to Share More with Consumers
Companies want to put more information on their packaging, but there isn’t always room. Lempert suggests we’ll see more touch-sensitive elements or more technology that makes packaging interactive in the way the rest of our world has become, “to communicate all that we as consumers want to know about our food.”
9. Millennials Make the Supermarket Social
Many millennials are living at home, with no money, Lempert says. But they’re extremely passionate about food, even attending food raves in the middle of the night to show their passion. They’re also taking photos of their food all the time, in an “instant reminisce.” He says, “It’s all about connection, conversation and community.”
10. International Restaurant Flavors at Home
“Latinos and Asians are creating a whole new international culture for food,” Lempert says. “It’s great. And more schools now have international cuisine than ever before.” But he also says recipe development with international flavors will be more challenging for stores and companies.
You can get more information about Lempert’s list on SupermarketGuru.com.
In addition, I asked him about his team’s research process with consumers in this video interview, after his presentation about his 2014 trends at the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.
Lempert also told me it’s important for both food retailers and food companies to understand that the shopper is in control, and will remain so, of what products will become hits or misses.
“If in fact you build a relationship with that shopper, whether you be a retailer or a CPG company, that’s when magic happens. But just thinking that you’re going to make something, put it on a shelf and somebody’s gonna buy it – those days are over,” he says.
Again, you can learn more about Lempert at SupermarketGuru.com. He’s also the founder and editor of “The Lempert Report” and is a contributing editor of Supermarket News. You also can see his product reviews here.
By the way, he also wrote about his experience as a judge at the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.