As the end of 2014 draws near, Canadean forecasts the top trends which will influence consumer behavior in 2015, and provides an insight into how manufacturers and marketers can target these evolving consumer needs to drive sales over the next year.
From mass-produced to personalized
The company predicts that the desire for craft offerings will become increasingly influential.
Consumers want their products to be produced and manufactured on a smaller scale to ensure quality and to feel a closer connection to the brands they choose.
By emphasizing the exclusivity of a product and the care with which it was formulated, brands will encourage sales among a growing number of consumers who want to move away from mass-produced items across the fast-moving consumer goods market.
Consumers will be increasingly concerned about unhealthy ingredients such as sugar.
The year 2014 saw the introduction of stevia into many popular products including Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Over the coming year, a greater number of ‘better-for-you’ offerings will emerge with healthier and more natural alternatives.
One of the main challenges will be to overcome the negative taste perceptions of these new products through innovation and reformulation as consumers still put indulgence first.
All things hot and spicy
The growing desire for hotter and spicier food is set to continue in 2015, as manufacturers will replicate popular heat trends from the catering industry to satisfy growing consumer needs.
Brands will innovate in formulation by including spicier ingredients in meat, dairy, and snacks, as products infused with chilies become more popular.
After the Indian and Mexican food trend, manufacturers should prepare for the next emerging spice cuisines from across Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Mix-and-match favorite flavors
Consumers will look for new and exciting products which mix their favorite foods and flavors together.
Fusion products such as amaretto cider and chocolate flavored wine will become even more popular.
The increase in demand for these experiential offerings means manufacturers must continue to innovate with ingredients and positioning to encourage sales among consumers who want more than just traditional products.
Packaging drives sensory experience
The large number of products available on supermarket shelves means that many brands are in danger of fading into the background.
Innovative packaging that draws consumer attention will be vital for retaining market share and for brands attempting to enter the market.
The use of haptics – including tactile packs, bright colors and reflective surfaces – will help to enhance the sensory experience, while matt finishing and the feel of a product can denote quality and superiority, encouraging trading-up and higher levels of spending.