VYPR Predictions: The Latest 6 New Food Trends

Our clients are always on the hunt for inspiration to fuel their NPD or add something new and innovative to existing product ranges. VYPR comes into its own when testing new ideas and concepts. So, in the last month, we’ve picked out 6 key trends that are edging their way into the UK mainstream – Indian Street Food, Portuguese Cuisine, West African Cuisine, Japanese “Dude” Food, Vegan Food and Flexitarian meat products – and put them to the test across the VYPR panel. Whereas you’d expect certain shoppers to warm to certain flavour profiles, what is more interesting is to see just how complex the breakdown of acceptable trial formats would be across different supermarkets and demographics. It certainly isn’t one format fits all.

It will perhaps come as no surprise to see that when we tested the latest trends across the VYPR consumer panel, purchase intent was highest for more familiar flavour profiles such as Indian (78%) and Portuguese Cuisine (72%), closely followed by West African (66%) and Japanese “Dude” Food (55%). Also, it won’t surprise most that Vegan (49%) and Flexitarian Food (45%) performed worst across the panel, suggestive of its niche nature. Still, some useful statistics for your next presentation.

However, what we found most interesting is to see how these new flavour profiles would best be adopted by consumers when bringing them into the brand. Ranked in order – and beyond trying the new cuisines in a restaurant or at a street food vendor – the  vast majority of consumers would look to add authentic sauces and condiments from these cuisines to their everyday meals (75%), in order to test their interest, closely followed by those that would buy a familiar product and trial it with a specially-flavoured variant (72%). Marinades were also popular (72%).

Perhaps most interesting, however, was that scratch cooking the dishes and ready meal formats performed worst in the test overall, suggesting that fresh cuisines perhaps need time to bed into existing ranges – with little effort – before they become acceptable in their own right. Conversely, retailers and manufacturers targeting younger demographics (70%) would find that they would be the earlier adopters of scratch cooking and older Waitrose/M&S shoppers were more likely to opt for trialling a ready meal.

These VYPR Steers (or surveys) took just a few minutes to create and we had statistically robust responses back in less than 5 hours. As a product developer, category manager or buyer, the results have served up lots of rich insight to explore when developing new products, whether it be on the flavour profiles themselves, how best to enter the category or how best to serve different demographics and supermarket shoppers over time with new and varied formats. That’s the power of VYPR and it doesn’t stop there.

Once you’ve arrived at an initial concept, VYPR can steer you throughout the development process, with infinite opportunities to test everything from product names, branding and packaging to ingredients, colourways, pricing and marketing messages. The anatomy of every product is different and it can be difficult to decipher what is truly driving purchase intent or behaviour in store. Every week, we test 1000s of variables that make up every product with consumers, providing effective tools and techniques that deliver fast, statistically robust and consumer-led intelligence to enhance, accelerate and predict existing/new product performance.

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