Talking Points – What a Difference a Month Makes

For this month’s Talking Points, we initially planned to discuss some of the emerging themes we were seeing among the larger food companies, inspired in part by last month’s annual Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) get-together in Boca Raton, Fl. Clearly, quite a lot has happened since then. Any talk of trends will, in the short to medium term, be overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Here then are five themes that were front of mind for the large players pre-crisis. Given the fluidity of the current situation, we are reserving judgement on the extent to which these trends will remain relevant down the line, but we believe they are still worth stating as a line of demarcation.

In this report:

1. A focus on the top line. In pursuit of growth, food companies have begun to open up their pocketbooks and wallets, investing in innovation as well as marketing.

2. Jumping on the plant-based food trend. Compared to a year ago, the large players were all pivoting towards the double-digit growth market in plant-based foods.

3. The need for an indulgent and fun platform. Most companies have been talking up their wellness platforms in recent years, but this year it came home just how important it is to have an “indulgent and fun” platform.

4. Investing in big data. Many companies have invested in data analysis in an effort to catch up with what the analytical tools retailers have been developing.

5. Some issues are just too much for one company to tackle by themselves. Companies talked up the need to have purpose, and purposeful brands were prioritized in their presentations.

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Talking Points – What a Difference a Month Makes