Three Top Trends in APAC & What They Mean for You

Inhale the future-Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash.jpg

Last week, Mintel presented their top trends in the Asia Pacific region outlining current and emerging influences of consumers purchasing decisions.  Here I’ve pulled out those of greatest relevance for food marketers and innovators and provide my thoughts on their implications.
 
The emergence of ‘Supernannies’
The cost and consequences of human activity on the planet are becoming too big to ignore, driving not only governments, but brands to become ‘Supernannies’. This means companies are starting to take a more active role in influencing consumer behaviour toward more sustainable practices, in part a response to the threat of increased regulation.  

A ‘hand holding’ approach that guides consumers toward change and educates them on why it’s necessary is seen as a realistic way forward in this space.

My Thoughts: the idea of influencing consumer behaviour around environmental stewardship is one that fits a leadership brand positioning – it’s not about following, but being bold enough to elevate business values in this area, and bringing consumers with you.  Communicating your environmental values to consumers in turn provides an opportunity for differentiation.
 
Culture Matters
Maintaining a link between the future and the past is being reflected in greater use of traditions and culture as a means of enhancing integrity, trust and pride, while also contributing a sense of belonging.  This supports the finding that 1 in 4 Australians are willing to pay more for products that are locally grown while those travelling to new countries will happily spend more to experience a true sense of the local culture.  Counter to living in a global world, the opportunity to remain local and to highlight and draw on the uniqueness of local food and produce is of growing value.

My Thoughts: being true to your roots and what you stand for as a brand, tapping into your heritage and highlighting this to consumers provides a pathway toward greater trust and integrity, while also providing an opportunity for premium pricing. 
 
The Rise of the Bot
Greater consumer choice and less available time is increasing anxiety and stress associated with decision making. Consumers can now turn to apps, online platforms and even chatbots to get the advice they need to make decisions.

Decision making chatbots are enabling more precise information to be accessed with greater speed.  AI will quickly move from being an assistant to also being a personal advisor.  Data analytics that help consumers make choices they can trust will take the stress out of decision making.

My Thoughts: with around 20,000 products on supermarket shelves, consumers will expect food brands to help them make more informed decisions. This could either be through the use of smart technology, or through real human involvement. Either way, it will be necessary to be an expert in your products to enable the right information to be available to help consumers make the right choices.

The future is both exciting and complex. It's also about making choices - which path to follow dependent on your brand positioning and values. One thing that's clear is that consumers are becoming increasingly challenged with the myriad of choices they face daily - helping them make better and faster decisions is an emerging challenge and opportunity for food brands.