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Puratos releases global survey results


October 31, 2012
By Bakers Journal

Oct. 31, 2012, Chicago – Puratos recently released the results of a
large-scale in-depth survey into consumer attitudes and choices related
to bakery, pastry, patisserie and chocolate.

Oct. 31, 2012, Chicago – Puratos recently released the results of a large-scale in-depth survey into consumer attitudes and choices related to bakery, pastry, patisserie and chocolate.

The survey results were released during the Taste Tomorrow event in Chicago on Oct. 18 and 19, which is part of a
series of events around the world that started in April this year with a
regional event in China and that will continue until mid-2013. The research
results provide unique global and local insights into 10 emerging
mega-trends with global relevance in the food sector and provide product
manufacturers with actionable information that will enable them to
adapt their product innovation and development to current and future
consumer needs.

The results centre on a number of paradoxes, which reflect the consumer attitudes; for example, health vs. indulgence, tradition vs. innovation, and artisanal vs. industrial. A further evaluation of the findings uncovered four major topics:

1. The difference in perception about the future of food is driven by the market stage. One of the major observations resulting from the study is that how consumers perceive the future of food is defined by whether they live in an emerging market in a growth phase or in a mature market facing an economic downturn. Emerging markets like the BRIC countries, Mexico and Turkey are optimistic and forward thinking, whereas the mature markets like Germany, UK, France or Japan are the most skeptical about the future of food. The Americas confirm the paradoxical situation and show a mix of hope and doubt.

2. Today’s consumer is critical, pragmatic and demanding and wants the best of both worlds. A theme throughout the results of the survey is consumers’ paradoxical behaviour. Consumers want quality and a good price; they want to indulge and live healthily; they want tradition and innovation; they want authenticity and convenience. In brief, they want the best of both worlds. With critical and demanding consumers, future-proof brands and products will have to be transparent in what the product stands for. As a result, storytelling and authenticity are becoming increasingly important.

3. Nutritional value and overall perception of quality are two main dimensions of "future food." The nutritional value is about naturalness and taking things directly from nature. Added health and functional benefits have a future if consumers do not have to sacrifice indulgence, pleasure or taste. Also, products with less sugar or less salt clearly have potential for the future. So, the future is about the combination of launching new products that respond to these nutritional expectations and reassuring consumers on the food production process and taste. As far as an overall perception of quality is concerned, consumers expect improved quality in a general sense: the intrinsic quality of the final product, the packaging, transparency in the labelling and a buying experience connected to their 21st-century lifestyle. This means more consumption on-the-go, focus on delivery of food at home or at work, sensory experiences in shops, positive connotations from city brands or concept stores.

Both the importance of nutritional value and an overall perception of quality offer specific approaches to consider: attention to packaging, the display of products, concept stores or the exploitation of local ingredients and recipes.

4. In bread, pastry, patisserie and chocolate, it’s about local taste and convenience. Great taste, with local favourites as a reference, is a future-proof concept. Consumers love their local flavours and products and will continue to buy them. But it is important to keep convenience in mind. Consumers are eating on the move more and more. In that way, food products will have to go to the consumer instead of the other way round. It is not only about what they will consume but how they will consume it. At different moments and places: on the go, fresh delivery, snacking concepts, etc. So there are plenty of innovation opportunities in line with the increasing need for comfort and convenience.

Watch for more coverage of the Puratos Taste Tomorrow event in upcoming issues of Bakers Journal.