Characters or ‘personas,’ can be used to better understand consumers. They can be used to help the industry forecast future needs, redesign existing products and create new ideas.
After what WGSN has described as a ‘prolonged period of uncertainty’, the consumer trend forecaster has developed a selection of personas it predicts will be relevant for food and drink players by 2024.
Brands should know more about them, however, they were advised to do so to be able to anticipate changes in food and drink needs. Claire Lancaster, strategist at WGSN Food & drink, outlines two types of them for FoodNavigator. They are the ‘Mindful Nurturists
and the Experientialists
The Mindful Nurturist
More than anything, the character of the ‘Mindful Nurturist’ cares for themselves, their community, and the planet. They advocate inclusion and holistic wellness solutions.
According to WGSN products that allow them to care for their community and the environment around them will be particularly appealing to the Mindful Nurturist. Functional ingredients that have roots in traditional medicine will become more readily available as they are becoming more popular. This consumer group is likely to be attracted to alcohol-free beverages. They are looking for ‘healthy takes’ on calming down and advocate for people who are not represented in the drinking culture.
“The pandemic and the climate crisis have brought the importance of care into sharp focus, and The Mindful Nurturists are rising up and brining with them new priorities: wellbeing over work, community over competition, and the planet over profit,” explained Lancaster.
“They will emerge in 2024 seeking out healing and restorative food and drink that supports their holistic wellness goals,” she told this publication. “A benevolent persona that values security, tradition and inclusion, they will look to brands that help them extend hospitality and nurture the communities around them as well as care for the environment. “
Another of WGSN’s predicted personals is the ‘Experientialist’. This consumer group strives to make chaos beautiful. They fluctuate between digital and physical reality, and transform every new food or drink experience into an “extravaganza”. According to the consumer trend forecaster the Experientialist is open to ‘next level’ innovation and seeks to build lifestyles around new concepts, ways of thinking, and actively supports future-oriented ventures at all stages.
“While their appetite for autonomous discovery is a key driver, they will seek to forge a genuine connection with the brands they buy from, as well as understand why the product they enjoy taste, feel and smell the way they do,” explained WGSN. This category will include ‘phygital food realities’, multisensorial experience, lesser-known ingredients and innovative culinary solutions. The consumer trend forecaster expects the areas of greatest opportunity for new production development to include those which offer digital activities that lead to rewarding realities IRL, or multisensory