It’s no news that consumers’ tastes and food preferences are evolving at a fast rate. A growing number of people are making significant lifestyle changes to accommodate different dietary habits, for a variety of reasons ranging from health consciousness to ethical concerns. The increasing number of people who adopt a vegan/gluten-free diet, for instance, demonstrates the power – and increasing relevance – of the global food movement. As consumers shift to newer dietary preferences, they’re also taking their food into their own hands, so to speak. More and more people are open to being an active part in the preparation of their food – the phenomenal popularity of food-based entertainment, especially in the past decade, demonstrates this.
Food networks, by bringing gourmet cooking to consumers’ television sets, have made the very act of cooking ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’. The celebrity status and fan following enjoyed by chefs is indicative of how significantly the chapter on cooking has been rewritten. While consumer attitudes to consumption and cooking continue to change, those in the food business should evaluate if their approach is consumer-friendly from every angle. As brands to whom consumers will turn to in order to explore their newly-adopted tastes, are food companies making the transition easier for the new consumer palette? Are they being given enough options that facilitate the innovation they seek to achieve in their kitchens? Food companies need to constantly innovate to keep up to complement changing consumer food behaviors – if they’re not where the consumers are, there is very little chance of resonating with them in the long run.