Culinary makeovers: 4 Strategies for Building a Brand that Resonates with New Age Consumers
Culinary makeovers: 4 Strategies for Building a Brand that Resonates with New Age Consumers

Building a culinary brand has never been as exciting and challenging as it is in 2024. Globally, the F&B industry has contended with several seismic shifts, and evolved and adapted in the most innovative ways, driven by changing customer tastes and preferences. So, how can culinary brands ride this wave to consistently come out on top? Can these key drivers of change also be agents of growth and contribute to the longevity of successful brands? 

Let’s take a look at key considerations that culinary brands must make while devising a strategy that resonates with contemporary consumers.

Assess your audience’s demographics: Customer behaviour largely changes from one generation to the next — while Gen Z’s appetite for early-stage trends has seen them become increasingly open to unique flavours, innovative styles of presentation, and hitherto under-explored cuisines, the often-overlooked Get X is becoming more clued into changing food trends and open to exploration. This generation also offers brands the stability they seek owing to their loyalty and sizeable disposable income. Finally, while millennials are often dubbed the ‘foodie generation’ and contribute to the vitality of new trends, their interest is often fleeting and harder to hold on to. When designing your business’s themes, focus areas, and even menus, it’s important to understand your customers' profile and tailor your offerings accordingly.

Leverage the power of technology: Technology is making its way to virtually every aspect of the F&B value chain, infusing efficiency and offering more personalisation than ever before. While digital menus and contactless ordering add agility, AI and data analytics can help business owners to better understand their customers and make informed business decisions, even as they offer customers a completely customised dining experience and individualised promotions. Similarly, the rise of the digital storefront can help up-and-coming brands to optimise costs, and scale in a more phased manner and at a more comfortable pace.

Embrace the beauty of opposites: The current culinary landscape is torn between seemingly disparate fascinations — an insatiable appetite for the new, and a growing recognition of the impact of our eating habits on our health and the environment. So, while on one hand flavours are growing bigger, bolder, and more exploratory, they are anchored by sustainable roots and an ingredient-forward approach that prioritises high-quality and nutrient-dense sources. Consumers today are no longer satisfied with foods that feel like ‘guilty’ indulgences — they are much more educated about the longer-term impacts of their culinary choices. From backyard kitchen gardens to hyperlocal ingredients, to nutrient-dense swaps, emerging brands need to think beyond taste and aesthetics alone and represent this understanding in their culinary offerings. 

Showcase your fresher take: Just as modern-day gourmands are motivated to explore all that is new and unfamiliar, they’re also turning back to their culinary roots with a greater appetite for hyper-regional cuisines and homegrown comfort foods. This time around though, they’re keen to regard them through an updated lens. From molecular gastronomy to imaginative plating, they’re encouraging chefs to continually push the boundaries of tradition, to create a visual and culinary signature that sets them apart from the crowd. 

To survive and thrive in the current culinary landscape, brands must showcase nimbleness, willingness to experiment, and openness to change. They must constantly have their ear on the ground and thus stay abreast with rapidly changing trends. And, with these guidelines helming their journey, they can seamlessly win over the hearts (and plates) of contemporary consumers. 

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