Millennials have quickly taken on an influential role in our consumer market as the group shapes the perceptions, expectations, and purchasing behaviors of surrounding generations—from consumer attitudes to lifestyle choices. Those behaviors are changing the way consumers across the board think about food and beverage.
Innovation is key for brands to maintain momentum in the F&B space, but it’s difficult. According to Nielsen, only 10 percent of new food products succeed, so the stakes are often too high to take a risk on a truly innovative product. However, in a market where many offerings are at parity, standing out from the competition is critical.
When considering how to innovate F&B offerings, hoteliers should first better understand consumers’ eating habits. Not simply defined as any time a consumer eats, rather, these habits identify a more emotional and participative need that the F&B category satisfies. Think about where a guest is eating, what else they are doing during their meal, whether others are joining them (and who they are in relation to the guest), what time of day they are eating, and what needs are fulfilled by their meal. Studying these habits and behaviors can help determine the emotional reasons that guests connect to their meals, and help hoteliers develop innovative offerings that directly appeal to guests’ preferences.
Innovation also requires looking at consumer and cultural trends that a hotel’s segment could capitalize on. Think about where that segment could be in three years based upon trends happening today. The overarching themes in these up-and-coming trends should fuel new product development strategies.
Today’s consumer market is one where target audiences no longer exist. It isn’t enough anymore to build a consumer segment and one catchall campaign. Today’s market is lead by a group of like-minded consumers who may range in demographics and backgrounds but who are within the same overarching mindset. The brands that perform well within it will win big.
About the Author
Leah Schwartz is a senior content specialist at FutureCast.