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How to stay ahead of ever-changing consumer behaviour

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As the priorities and palates of consumers evolve, bosses must ensure they keep ahead of the curve and develop alongside these trends; meeting ever-growing demand.

Consumer needs vary depending on region, age group, demographic and spending habits; however you must also bear in mind the differences from country to country. As an international brand, we know all too well the fluctuations of ever-changing consumer behaviour and how, as a business, you need to keep on top of these in order to achieve success, both at home and further afield.

Capitalise upon market growth

The UK food and drink industry is developing at a phenomenal rate; a rate that is continually driven by consumer trends and behaviour. Businesses need to capitalise upon this growth. We’ve noticed a growing tendency of people wanting spicier flavours, something that we believe has, in part, developed through increased international travel. In response to this demand, we evolved the recipe for our Baby Bakes, our baby potatoes sprinkled with a crunchy crumb, enhancing them with spice, as a result of consumers wanting hotter flavours. It has proved popular in both our home market as well as Dubai and shows how jumping on the back of changing consumer taste has been extremely fruitful for us and can be for your business too.

It’s definitely worth considering and we hope the following will help you to better understand your target market.

Traditional vs evolving

Research shows that consumer purchases can be divided into two categories: traditional, including convenience and taste attributes and evolving, which include health and social responsibility characteristics. The importance of the heritage and provenance of products is rising and as a result, businesses are adapting marketing strategies to tap into these opportunities. As people become more concerned with the produce they are buying, it leaves businesses in an even more competitive position.

Read more about consumer behaviour:

Social media

Keeping up to date with the latest tastes and trends is key. Social media plays a growing part in this as it’s a great way to see what people are engaging with, what the latest trends are and who’s driving this change. This contributes and influences the direction your business takes and the products you should create.

Exhibitions

While food and drink trends are a common topic of “everyday” conversation, other sectors must also take a prominent interest in the direction their sector is taking. Trade exhibitions and consumer research are good places to begin, whether at home or abroad. After all, in order for a business to succeed your main priority is appealing to your target market, therefore you need to get to know them personally.

The need to know your audience, and evolve with them will ensure your business remains at the forefront. Enhancing growth through stronger customer engagement will all help you move in the right direction to maintain success, while solidifying customer confidence.

Martin Hamilton is founder and MD at Mash Direct.

Hamilton has also delved into the reasons why exporting can be a fruitful business strategy, with more opportunities available than you imagine.

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