Food For Thought – Adapting To Survive

July 28, 2020

The food industry is one that’s had to adapt and react to COVID perhaps the most. In the US, there are some clear trends that will be influencing consumer behavior.

We know the world has changed and smart brands and organizations are taking the opportunity to reassess. What’s essential, what’s core to the business, do consumers really want to hear from us about this. Doing more with less, is something most organizations are looking at right now.

Packaging – the dash & go

Now, more than ever before, clear, directional and dare we say obvious messaging on consumer goods and the packaging is critical. No longer are people browsing or meandering up and down a fixture. You get what you need and get out of there as quickly as humanly possible. At Pieminister we removed 34 messages on pack and stripped it back to just 12. More will and should follow suit.

Curbside pickup

The food brands and restaurants in the US have got it spot on here. From big players like Chipotle which has a fantastic app, to the much smaller players, like your local restaurant or pizza go-to-place. Those that didn’t quite have it, have reacted quickly and got it. Whether it’s a simple webpage and payment gateway on your own website or a food ordering app – it’s a must. But it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just do the job and help consumers to get food quickly and with fast collection.

At Home & out of home

Food brands that will survive the rollercoaster will be the ones that offer at home (food from a grocery store) and out of home to go. And hopefully the savvy brands and operators will offer this direct rather than using a partner and taking all their margin. Most consumers would rather go direct and keep that local business going. So have both if you can. Then you cover awareness with the big players and protect your margin.

Single use

There’s going to be a real balance around hygiene and single use and the environment. In the food industry – particularly coffee, globally we will likely take a real step back and single use take-away cups and plastic bottles (sigh) will become mainstream again. Particularly when it’s more spontaneous. We know biodegradable cups don’t really work (as you have to take them to a specific site to be recycled) so let’s hope the clever bright things are already on to something here to help. It feels like a huge problem to solve, if someone can crack it and crack it properly.

If we can help to shape your retail packaging and branding for a more sustainable future – we’d love to hear from you

Author Headshot

Dani Wilkinson

Dani has a passion for making brands sparkle. From Dyson vacuum cleaners to Pies, she built brands from the ground up and has a strong perspective from both high-level, to actual practicalities and how to get something done.

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