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A challenge faced by CGF members all over the world, retailers now find themselves fighting on two fronts at the same time. To meet consumers’ need for ultimate convenience, retailers need to provide a solid online experience. Consumers expect to be able to order products online at any time and have them delivered at home straight away. But when they visit a shop – and they want to keep doing this! – consumers also expect a ‘next level’ offline shopping experience. What is this, and how can retailers combine best of both worlds?


‘Taste Tomorrow’: Nine Trends for Setting a ‘Foodstep’ into the Future

As it is crucial to truly understand consumers’ needs and expectations, Puratos, the international manufacturer of ingredients for the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors, conducts a consumer study once every three years: ‘Taste Tomorrow’. This is the world’s largest bakery, patisserie and chocolate consumer survey, conducted in 40 countries to gather data from over 17,000 consumers. The study was first conducted in 2011 and now, eight years later, the results of this third edition have identified nine key worldwide trends: Taste, Health, Freshness, Craft, Ethical Lifestyle, Transparency, Ultimate Convenience, Next Level Experience and Hyper Personal. 


Counterbalancing Trends

The survey shows that 77% of worldwide consumers want The Next Level Experience. This trend actually counterbalances the equally significant development towards ultimate convenience and more digital channels(1). Consumers want both: more online solutions and great new experiences in physical shops.


The Nine Dimensions of a Good Next Level Experience

Experience is not a one-dimensional aspect. Providing a good Next Level Experience at a shop where food is sold requires a lot of input. The survey distinguishes between nine dimensions:


  1. 80% of worldwide consumers say taste is still the most important part of the whole experience. So, be sure to never compromise on taste!
  2. Smell is a critical aspect for 63% of consumers.
  3. The general atmosphere clearly plays a key role for 53%.
  4. 50% think using a new technology such as a digital assistant helps consumers make more informed choices.
  5. Service with a smile is a must for 49%.
  6. An attractive presentation of the food is important for 45%.
  7. Creative and innovative recipes make a difference for 34%.
  8. People who share a passion for the food contribute to the overall customer experience for 26% of consumers.
  9. And ultimately, music plays a key role for 24%.

Using Digital Tools to Take the Experience to the Next Level

A growing number of inspirational concepts are available to retailers who want to enhance consumer experience by using digital tools. How about serving a coffee latte printed with a consumer’s own photo, using projections in your restaurant to enhance the dining experience, or personalising your cake with the use of 3D printing technology? In the ‘Taste Tomorrow’ survey, Puratos asked consumers their opinion on the MyBread concept: an application that allows consumers to design their own bread by choosing their favourite dough-mix or adding extra ingredients like nuts, fruits or herbs. 40% of global respondents said they would certainly buy this concept.

To sum up, we can say that technology definitely provides opportunities for new consumer and shopping experiences. But in-store experience, taste, atmosphere, innovation, personal service with a smile and presentation have never been more important for producing a ‘wow’ effect on the consumer and offering a differentiating experience.

Do you want to learn more about this trend or about the other insights presented by the ‘Taste Tomorrow’ survey? Visit us at www.tastetomorrow.com.

(1) With so little time and such busy lives, consumers demand the ultimate in convenience. Buying food online and other technological breakthroughs can make things more convenient. Digital solutions are becoming essential, also in the baked goods industry.

This post was written and contributed by:

Luc-Olivier Rahier
Group Conversation Manager