Technology has forever changed the consumer eating experience, transforming how we choose, receive and consume our favorite foods both in and out of home. From QR codes and touch screen ordering to social sharing before, during and after the meal, there’s now a digital component to virtually every food occasion. After rapid changes in the last 3 years, technology now presents a “make or break” scenario to bakers. From delivery to payment options to cues that encourage social engagement, operators need to actively bring technology into the eating experience to remain relevant in our digital world.
Everything old is new again. Consumers frequently turn to familiar foods for comfort in times of stress. This has been especially true in the past few years. Today’s consumers—especially younger generations—are approaching tradition with a twist. Exploring fresh and disruptive ingredients and enhancing their nostalgic memories with new flavor experiences. To win today’s consumers, operators are challenged to think both old and new—to innovate with intriguing spins on time-honored favorites.
Happiness in every bite. As we place a stronger emphasis on mental health and wellness, consumers have increasingly changed their perceptions of sweet goods. Enjoying something sweet every day has gone from “something I feel guilty about” to “something that makes me feel good,” an essential part of a balanced lifestyle. But in order for consumers to truly enjoy the moment the treat has to be a delicious, high quality, and multi-sensorial experience. When introducing new concepts, operators are encouraged to appeal to consumers’ growing acceptance and desire for their daily sweet treats—with desirable, individual serving-size and mini-format options.
Reaching the conscious consumer. Today’s consumers are putting a great deal of thought into the foods they eat. Acutely aware of how their choices affect their personal health, community and planet, they’re looking for authenticity, and want to make a positive impact on the world. They’re loyal to brands and establishments that support causes they care about. Operators need to be mindful of what they themselves stand for—so consumers can feel good about supporting those values with their dollars.