The world today is changing at an ever-increasing pace. New ideas and technologies – and also new lifestyle preferences – emerge every day in ways that both drive and support new global trends. And the world of food is no exception. Consumers are demanding – and adopting – innovative food products that speak to their changing attitudes across a range of issues, from health and wellness, to convenience, style and ethical concerns.
As an innovation leader in the global food sector for more than a century, Valio understands the crucial importance of closely mapping emerging trends and developing products that both meet and drive these trends. While capturing and interpreting the data behind this cacophony of new and future trends is a cutting-edge science, the key question to be answered is simple: What do consumers want?
Smart data drives consumer insights
Valio’s Consumer Insight Manager Kevin Deegan explains, “What we’ve been actively and systematically doing a lot more is have data drive our decision-making process. The aim is to consolidate all the data we have and try to figure out why certain consumer phenomena are happening, how we can effectively respond to it and, most importantly, how can we predict the futures needs of our customers.”
Deegan continues, “Simply put, we ask what changes in consumers’ lives could we have an impact on. We closely study these changes and have identified six major – often very interrelated – megatrends in food.”
These megatrends can be quite slow-moving, refer to specific desires in products or even reflect cultural and societal shifts. What is important is that Valio has an important role to play in each of them, be it clear and transparent communication of our target-orientated sustainability programme or how we can best serve our customers who are actively trying to improve their health and wellness.
It’s true that even advanced analytical skills will never make the world fully predictable. What’s clear is that using data to accurately interpret market trends is the key to the future.
Source: Consumer food trends report 2018, Valio Smart Data