We are approaching the one year anniversary of the panic buying and so many other changes to our food and beverage industry. March 5 last year I was speaking to a room with 350 people in it about food trends for 2020. To be honest, I think I might have missed a few based on what happened in the following weeks….
So many people in the food and beverage industry, from one end of the value chain to the other, had to react and figure it out. At SKUfood we had to change too. No more speaking to groups in the same room, no more on-site visits with clients, no more travel to see what is happening in other markets. We had to change our plan for 2020 as many others did. We did have a plan, but we pushed it aside to try to deal with the hand we were dealt.
One of the things we did was get away from our C.A.R.T. process. In a time of rapid change, people need to react and find solutions and do not always believe following a process is the right decision. When we learned more and began to understand we are in this for a longer period of time we revisited our C.A.R.T. process and one positive was that it really is effective in this time of change. It forced us to ask the right questions.
There is no doubt much has changed and we need to ask these questions today. It is interesting how some of the answers for your business might be different. It is time to think about how your consumers have changed. The first question in our C.A.R.T. process is:
Who are your consumers?
In other words who are the people most likely to buy your products?
A simple question but one that can be a challenge to answer. You need a great definition of your target market. If you don’t have one, you will struggle with where to promote, where to sell and how to sell.
When you think about your consumers it is important to consider how they have changed in the last 12 months:
Many are working from home
Some have had children doing their schoolwork from home
The awareness around functional foods and health has changed
Plant based proteins are more available and more popular
Consumers are spending time more online and buying more online
Millennials are shopping in grocery stores more
People are eating more meals at home and they want ideas to keep their meals fresh and interesting
Grocery store volume is up between 8-10% every week
Some consumers are frustrated and ‘tired’ of the pandemic
Perhaps you have some specific changes within your own target market to consider as well. The key is to ask the question:
Who are they?
Once you know who they are you can think about some of the changes from even 1 year ago. As you build your sales and marketing plans are you addressing who they are today or are you stuck with who they were 1 year ago? Consumers are changing fast and you need to keep up with them.
If you missed the lastest webinar Perennia's preparing for retail success series, here is the recording:
At the end of March I will be moderating a panel of producers and industry experts on "Consumer Trends In Agriculture" as part of the Minister of Agriculture Digital Series.
If you have any questions about how to get your local products on the shelf or in the shopping cart you can always call me at (902) 489-2900 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.