In a world where we have more choice than ever, why are we still stuck in a mid-week meal rut?

1st February 2016

I’m bored! I’m always cooking the same meals! I’m stuck in a rut! All phrases we hear so often in research, and with an increasingly time-poor consumer base, brands are striving to make life easier with a plethora of new products coming to market every year.

But despite the apparent desire for new and interesting products, many don’t ever make it onto people’s radars, let alone into their kitchen cupboards.

Analysis of sale rates across all FMCG categories by IRI shows that success is harder to achieve in Food & Drink than in any other sector apart from Beer, Lager and Cider.  To maintain distribution a new product must exhibit a superior sales rate, and even some of the best eventually succumb to the inevitable churn in the marketplace, with those with the lowest sales rates delisting after only 6 months.

So if consumers genuinely want to be inspired to try new things, why – with so much out there – do so many new products struggle to cement their places in the repertoire?
Maybe we need to consider what people mean when they say they want to be inspired. If we think beyond the kitchen and look at the wider meaning of inspiration, we might say that we are most inspired by ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. Can we apply this thinking to brands? Perhaps it’s about being authentic, being true to your brand promise and demonstrating a pride in what you’ve got to offer? Perhaps it’s about being open, honest and believable?

Or maybe what consumers want isn’t what brands are delivering. Are NPD ideas grounded in true consumer insight? Maybe we need to have a deeper understanding of the underlying emotions governing our habitual behaviour in order to unpick what consumers mean when they say they’re looking for ‘inspiration’.

Over the next 4 weeks, we have set ourselves the challenge of understanding what consumers really mean when they want inspiration, and what brands can do to make it into the shopping basket on a regular basis. We’re working with a panel of consumers from across the UK, who will undertake a series of tasks and share their experiences with us, and we’re looking forward to sharing the learning at our next Lunch & Learn event.