A flavour-filled 2019

A recent survey of Danish consumers has confirmed that “flavour” is the new buzzword for 2019, particularly in terms of the all-important evening meal.

What influences consumers’ decision-making when it comes to the planning, shopping and preparation of their evening meal? A new survey shows that there is potential for the food sector to deliver even better taste experiences, particularly if consumers’ psychological barriers are addressed.

Ideal versus reality
One of the key points to emerge from the survey is that consumers prioritise flavour and health. Ideally the main meal of the day should be hot, homemade, and contain healthy, ethical ingredients, with lots of vegetables. The reality however, is often quite different. There are a range of psychological barriers that prevent a good taste experience – and ultimately give rise to a bad conscience. But what are these psychological barriers? Essentially, they exist because consumers believe that good and healthy food is complex, requires many components and ingredients and lots of inspiration. All of which puts pressure on time-pressed consumers.

Time at a premium
For many, cooking is a daily chore, and the main meal of the day often fails to live up to expectations. When asked about what they serve for dinner, 65 per cent of Danish consumers responded that a typical meal comprises classic, everyday food, while 23 per cent opted for a fast solution. The upshot therefore, is that the evening meal should be easy and quick to prepare. Healthy and nutritious food can, of course, be prepared quickly, but when consumers are pressed for time, they tend to skimp on the vegetables and fall back on takeaways or ready meals. As a result, they are left with a bad conscience because their meals fail to meet their ideal of a hot, homemade, healthy evening meal which is full of flavour.

Read also: The rise of ready meals

Lack of inspiration
Another major psychological barrier to a better taste experience comes in the form of a lack of inspiration. Consumers see it as mentally challenging to think innovatively and be creative in the meals they prepare. Some forget where they found good recipes or believe it is too complicated to prepare new dishes because the ingredients can be difficult to source or difficult to use – or simply, because it’s been a long and difficult day. In other words, consumers are trapped by traditional habits and fall back on tried and tested dishes,and fail to achieve the taste experiences to which they aspire.

Flavour boost
The survey concludes, therefore, that there is scope for the food sector to provide consumers with even better taste experiences. It could even be said that flavour is set to become a key concept in 2019. Improved flavour has the potential to become a differentiation parameter, particularly in terms of the evening meal. This can be through devising products or concepts, which will help consumers to reduce the negative perceptions associated with good and healthy food, with lots of exciting new flavours that fulfil consumers’ wishes for food to be delicious, inspiring and homemade.

Read also: What the latest food trends mean for the meat industry