The widely respected global consulting firm, Deloitte, recently published a report entitled “Capitalizing on the shifting consumer food value equation” which provided a great number of insights for us in the food industry. Among other tools, they surveyed 5,000 consumers across the U.S. to gain a better perspective of the current day consumer and what they are looking for.
As one would expect, “traditional” drivers of the food purchase decision such as price and taste still play an important role for consumers; however, these drivers are being increasing supplemented by “evolving” values. Examples of evolving drivers include Health and Wellness, Food Safety, Social Impact and Transparency (clear and honest labeling, certifications, etc.). While much of the study is perhaps intuitively obvious to those of us in the industry, it nonetheless, quantified these trends in ways that had not done before.
These trends have been a welcome development for smaller companies such as us at Pretzel Pete. While it has always been very difficult for smaller companies to compete on price and “convenience” (meaning distribution – how customers can find our products in stores, etc.) of the large companies, the increasing emphasis on the evolving values places us on equal or better footing than the large multinationals. Many small companies such as ours have for years been unwittingly placing strong emphasis on things like food safety, social impact, transparency and developing better-for-you products. For this reason, the rate of growth for smaller food companies is far out-pacing that of the large companies. The values and strengths of the smaller companies are now more-and-more in alignment with those of the consumers.
At Pretzel Pete, we have a number of interesting and very important decisions to make in the coming weeks and months concerning our supply chain. It will be critically important for us to make sure that the decisions we take enhance our alignment with these evolving values in the marketplace.