Thursday, November 4, 2021

Wanting More Will Be Amplified in 2022! Is your product lineup ready to meet consumers’ expectations?


Photo source: Photo source: Rachel Vanni/Mochidoki

With 2021 being the year of restrictions—often times not knowing what they were and changing when you crossed city and state lines--consumers wanted more out of things they could control. This was particularly true with foods and beverages, and this trend of wanting an amplified experience is not going to go away. In fact, it is expected to intensify in 2022, with consumers wanting a lot more out of less, with the less referring to portion size, which is part of their effort to decrease food waste. It’s their small way to assist with the future of our planet. 

“One of the biggest shifts we are seeing is that the health of the planet is now the top concern of consumers,” says Lu Ann Williams, global insights director, Innova Market Insights. “Personal health has been the big concern for the past few years, but consumers now tell us that this has been surpassed by global issues.”

A sense of joint responsibility for our shared planet is guiding the choices consumers make and the lifestyles they wish to lead. Innova’s consumer study, conducted across 11 countries, revealed that when it comes to food choices, the top-two environmental actions people are taking are reducing waste (43% of respondents) and eating in moderation (32%).

This is why they want an amplified eating and drinking experience. They want more from every bite or sip. They want to make the calories count and be enjoyed. Health, responsibility and the simple craving for pleasure will all combine in 2022. This includes delivering amplified and authentic eating experiences. Authenticity can include flavors rooted in history and culture as well as the way a particular product was grown, made or produced. 

Flavor trends for 2022 are all about getting used to “the new normal.” This includes making our lives more sustainable and capturing consumer interest through flavor.

Balchem recently conducted consumer research (September 2021, n=320 respondents) on attitudes and behaviors related to ice cream buying and consumption habits. One interesting finding is that “names matter.”

The research showed that name and descriptions of flavors have influence when buying ice cream. Two out of five (44%) respondents said the name of the ice cream is a key factor in deciding what to buy, with 43% saying the description of the flavor is also important. Additionally, 23% said they buy certain flavors based on their current mood.

Photo source: Rachel Vanni/Mochidoki

When asked what factor is considered when buying ice cream, 55% said they will buy a flavor they would love themselves. When asked, 36% would buy something they think their family would love and only 15% said they would buy a flavor their kids would love. 

Balchem has identified a number of flavor trends for 2022 and beyond. One of them is “What’s Old Is New Again” and another is “Whimsical and Nostalgic.” This includes retro flavors and descriptors that focus on providing a pleasurable experience, and are the counter to another trend of being “Wellness Inspired.” 

The trend of “Global and Provenance” is fueling innovation in the mochi space, the hand-held Asian-inspired ice cream treat that provides an authentic, amplified eating experience, often times for under 100 calories. 

Mochidoki, for example, is a New York City mochi ice cream company that just opened its second brick-and-mortar location on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The new shop is all about providing consumers more of what they are looking for when going out for ice cream. It features family-friendly, zen garden-inspired outdoor seating and a whimsical, location-exclusive new flavor (Everything Bagel), as well as seasonal tea and mochi pairings. 

Mochidoki’s ingredient-driven ethos has amassed a loyal national following, and the brand has become the preferred mochi ice cream provider to top restaurant and hospitality groups nationwide, from Nobu and Tao to Wynn Resorts and Blue Ribbon. 

The Everything Bagel features cream cheese ice cream wrapped in light, chewy mochi, flavored with everything bagel spices, including garlic, salt, sesame and poppy seeds. It joins other famed flavors, including Red Bean with chopped azuki red beans, Black Honey Walnut with kuromitsu (Japanese molasses), Salted Caramel with cracked caramel candy and Matcha made with organic, premium matcha. 

To review more findings from the research and other flavor trends, link HERE

Real California Milk Excelerator

Sweet treats with functional benefits took home the four finalist spots in the Real California Milk Excelerator product innovation competition created by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) and VenureFuel. The finalists tap into the nutritional and flavor profiles of milk and dairy ingredients to deliver performance and recovery benefits in 
products consumers crave.

All four finalists complement one or more of Balchem’s trends for 2022. 

The finalists are:

Nightfood: Uniquely formulated by sleep experts and nutritionists, Nightfood ice cream delivers great taste for those nighttime cravings and a sleep-friend nutritional profile to help promote quality sleep.

ReThink Ice Cream: Low sugar, stomach and diabetic-friendly ice cream that is infused with fiber and sourced from lactose-free A2 dairy, ReThink Ice Cream is a decadent source of natural nutrition.

Sweetkiwi: Founded by a McKinsey 2021 Black Executive Leader and certified cultured dairy professional, Sweetkiwi makes whipped Greek yogurt that is low in calories and high in nutrition. The pints are under 320 calories and formulated with fiber, protein and probiotics for better gut health with fewer calories.

Wonder Monday Snacks: A 2020 RCM Snackcelerator finalist, the company returns with a new protein keto cheesecake snack bar with 10 grams of clean protein to indulgently refuel.
The final, live competition takes place on November 18 at 5:00pm PST. The finalists will compete for $150,000 in marketing support to bring their visions to market, with a runner-up receiving $100,000 towards the same goal. Registration for the event is available HERE

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