I’ll start this post with some classic British irony. We’ve created technology that enables us to process things faster, move faster and access information faster, but yet we’re all still rushing and are busier than ever before. For food and drink brands, this has presented a new market to engage in: On-the-Go.
Whether it’s a simple sandwich or exotic concoction, consumers expect to be able to eat their lunchtime grub immediately without any formalities.
Now what’s changed is that there’s a new emphasis on health and nutrition. Due to the rise in budget gyms and excessive media coverage around alternative diets, our food and drink choices are changing. From sugar content to the origin of meat, the influential factors that determine a purchase decision are now endless, causing a headache for brands who want to reach the modern consumer. But there are companies out there who have combined strategy with creativity to successfully position themselves well and truly at the epicentre of ‘on-the-go’.
Crisp giants Walkers are clever marketers (aside from the ‘Spell & Go’ competition) in that they release new products and ranges in timely fashion. Responding to the news that the sales of ‘take-home’ crisps were overtaken by non-potato based snacks for the first time ever, they sought to expand their baked goods line to complement the Sunbites and Baked ranges. However in knowing their different target audiences - those that choose Walkers original over Walkers Market Deli for example - they released a new savoury snack product under the Sensations sub-brand: Crispy Thins. The cracker is fast becoming the new way to snack, offering consumers a healthier way to curb those carb cravings.
The innovative boxed nibbles that transformed what we all thought we knew about healthy snacks has ventured into the world of retail. Teaming up with big high street names, such as Sainsbury’s, the move to provide consumers whilst out and about proves there’s a huge opportunity to capitalise on impromptu, on-the-go decisions. In an interview with the Financial Times, Sainsbury’s impulse category planner, Amy King said there was “an increased demand with customers for healthier choices, exemplified by strong sales in areas like alternative grains such as freekeh and dark leafy products like kale.”
As their name suggests, these bars of nutritional goodness are free from anything artificial, leaving the raw ingredients naked, free and single… During the past five years, the UK energy bar market has grown at a faster rate than our American cousins, reaching €137m, and in 2015 Nakd boosted sales by an astonishing 80.5%. The way that they market their product is simple but effective, merely relying on the fact that each bar only contains 5 ingredients as opposed to 30. For on-the-go produce, bars are the ideal way for consumers to get an energy boost and pack in their daily nutritional requirements without the hassle - or any mess!
Retailers that are looking to entice their customers with innovative food-on-the-go and increase footfall should take inspiration from these brands and adapt accordingly. Meal deals can go beyond the standard sandwich, crisps and fizzy drink into the realms of quinoa salad bowls, granola with yoghurt and natural blended smoothies.
But before you start brainstorming your next foodie campaign, market research is crucial.
You need to know who your customers are, their buying behaviour and purchase drivers. The discovery of this data power will change how you connect with our target audiences in that it paints a much bigger picture of who the persona is, how they engage online, what their preferred social media channel is and you might even find out what their favourite brand of coffee is. All of this can be analysed and used against your marketing strategy and product offering to create something tailored and personalised.
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This article article was originally published on Sud's LinkedIn.