Shifting Tastes in Foods and Markets

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Innovate or die. That’s a phrase that all marketers are familiar with using, and it hits close to home for consumer product goods companies in particular. Case in point is Campbell Soup Co. The company plans to launch more than 200 new products in the next few months, ranging from Goldfish Mac & Cheese to a new cold variety of its classic V8 drink.

What prompted the new products? The changing trends of consumer taste, especially for more fresh foods. And before you wonder how V8 fits into a ‘fresh’ category, the product is being revamped to fit into a new category of “packaged fresh” foods. Instead of finding V8 in the center grocery aisle, the drink will be 100% fresh tomato/vegetable juice and will be stocked in the refrigerated section of grocery stores, a place Millennials tend to frequent. In the soup category, the new product is Campbell Homestyle soups which still have no added preservatives.

The new products are also intended to reach new market segments including Millennials, Hispanics, and other consumers who desire more sophisticated and bolder taste profiles. Also in the cross-hairs are the kid and teen markets, which will see new products such as Goldfish Puffs, a cheesy air-puffed baked form of Goldfish crackers.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss why product innovation is important, and what factors help a new product become successful.
  2. Poll the class about their preferences in foods: taste, color, size, texture, flavors, etc.
  3. Ask students what new products they have tried in the past month. Why those products? What did they think about the product? Would they buy them again?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a category of food or beverage (e.g., soup, cookies, drinks, etc.)
  5. Have each team select a target market. Then have each team develop a new product (in their category) for the chosen target market.
  6. Debrief after each team presents their product.

Source:  Brandchannel.com, Ad Age Daily, 7/24/13

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