Real food tastes better and sells more

How can marketers ensure they have the recipe for success?

Have you seen Burger King’s new advertising campaign of the Mouldy Whopper?

This stunningly disruptive advertising campaign has at its heart a desire to bring consumers back to a safe place where they know that freshest ingredients are being used during preparation. In the commercial, rather than featuring a delicious fresh whopper, we watch a Whopper over the course of 34 days develop fuzz and mould only to end in the simple tagline ‘The beauty of no artificial preservatives.’

“We believe that real food tastes better,” said Fernando Machado, International Global Chief Marketing Officer of Restaurant Brands, which owns Burger King. “That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world.”

We are living in a world today where consumers are becoming more and more conscious about taste and how it is created in brands. Conscious consumers want to feel that a food or beverage aligns with their beliefs, which has led to a push for claims like ‘free from artificial colors or preservatives’, ‘organic’, and ‘made with natural ingredients’. Consumers who seek foods that they perceive as natural and healthy don’t offer the industry a consistent definition of what they accept on product labels – simply put, they expect food as it should be. Part of this trend is a rising demand for further processed/ prepared organic food due to increasing numbers of working professionals, especially females and young people, who are looking for ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products.

Bord Bia research showed that the market for organic food in Ireland has grown by over 10% since 2017. The research disclosed that over 91% of Irish consumers believe that organic products are generally better than nonorganics – with poultry, meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables and fruit especially preferred.

Understanding the neuroscience of flavour can help marketers ensure that their product are meeting the ever changing taste and sensory needs of the consumer. Now more than ever marketers need to ask themselves have they addressed the changing needs of the consumer in their new product development.

The challenge for marketers is what to test. Previous studies on organic food shows that it is not just taste that influencers our consumers choice in organic foods but also can be attributable to perception created by a deep attitudes, beliefs and values of the consumer.

What marketers need to know:

1.      You need to test for more than taste:

We know that taste and smell are inextricably linked. Good sensory testing will also seek to understand what the consumer is thinking and feeling as they taste and smell the product as their emotional and rational journey is clearly part of what dictates their choice.

2.      Test for the five senses

Sensory research should utilize the five senses – sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch – to uncover consumer insights. The multisensory touchpoints analysis allow you to understand the whole consumer experience. Effective multi-sensory testing will allow you to combine different types of testing – including sensory profiling, blind taste testing, packaging preferences etc to allow you to create true consumer understanding.

3.     Brand perception

Brand perception is a key influence in consumer produce choice. Qualitative and quantitative research can be combined to unveil real consumer brand perception. Lifestyle, context and packaging are all an important part of perception and perception has an indirect effect on taste.

4.      Competitive benchmarking

It is a good idea if you are establishing your product positioning in the marketplace to measure sensory testing of your competitors in the marketplace. This research will often indicate re-formulations or re-engineering of your product to ensure a competitive offer in the marketplace.

In sum, the design of your multi-sensory testing and the expertise in creating a holistic testing process designed to understand the whole consumer experience is key to excellent consumer research.

Innovate Solutions help food & beverage companies & retailers in Ireland to grow their sales and profitability.  Our range of sensory product testing and research services deliver an independent view of consumer taste and preference. 

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