Interbrand Report Identifies Strategic Growth Opportunities in the “Taste Arena”: A Diverse New Competitive Space Estimated at 15.4TN USD, with an Annual Growth Forecast of 8.4% for the Next 5 Years
The Taste Arena is a diverse competitive space, driven by significant technological innovation and breakthrough businesses and models.
New York, 20 September 2023. Traditional food and beverage brands are threatened by a context of market volatility and liquidity of offerings. Competitive threats for these brands no longer come from within their own category, but from a fluid Arena, defined by the brands that can understand and meet an increasingly complicated set of customer’s expectations.
Interbrand analysis estimates the global economic value of the Taste Arena at $15.4 trillion, with annual growth forecast of 8,4% between 2022 and 2027.
“The magnitude of innovation and change observed in the Taste Arena, both in brand strategies and consumer expectations, is nothing short of extraordinary,” says Lidi Grimaldi, Global Lead of the Taste Arena, and CEO of Interbrand’s Italian office. “In the Taste Arena, the competitive challenge can only be won by brands that can create truly personalized experiences based on the demands and preferences of the audience“.
The Taste Arena report highlights how consumers’ relationship with food and beverages can no longer be viewed solely from a product perspective but must be managed as a multi-dimensional set of experience criteria in which various needs intersect: Belonging, Enjoyment, Safety, Ethics, Care, Health and Indulgence.
Winning in the Taste Arena requires unconventional products, such as non-alcoholic wine to meet health criteria, innovative business models, such as Cloud Kitchens to meet convenience criteria, and relevant experiences, such as partnerships to meet identity criteria. In such a dynamic context, the competitive advantage of “legacy brands” will be in Brand Leadership – and their ability to renew business and innovation processes, enabling greater agility and responsiveness. “Brands that cannot be both agile and relevant will miss out on innovation and growth opportunities in favor of new entrants”, adds Lidi Grimaldi of Interbrand.
The new report investigates the Taste Arena through a global market research – in partnership with Analytics Arts -, qualitative analysis and interviews with Consumer Experts, Venture Capitalists and Brand Leaders:
“One of the things PepsiCo is really good at is the last steps of tailoring a proposition to specific markets. Our goal is to ensure our brands play larger roles in local food cultures. Like all big consumer-focused companies, we’re investing very heavily in personalization at scale, both in marketing, which is relatively easy to do, but also in terms of product”, said Stephan Gans, SVP Chief Consumer Insights and Analytics Officer at PepsiCo.
“There is certainly an evolution in consumer needs” said Evangelos Touras, Chief Marketing Officer of illycaffè. “Quality, sustainability, and experience are the three main drivers of change. We have also noticed a trend to go back to what is essential, to go back to how things were originally made’ in an experiential way.”
Gil Horsky, Founding Partner of FLORA Ventures, a leading AgriFood-Tech & Sustainability Venture Capital Fund said: “Incumbents are often leaving innovation opportunities that they think aren’t ‘big enough’ for them on the table. This is leading to large, untapped opportunity spaces that smaller brands can enter. The Incumbents operate by trying to invest in these start-ups through M&A or VC funding”.
To thrive in the Taste Arena, Interbrand’s new report recommends that brands will have to:
- be clear and consistent regarding their purpose, behaving with integrity and transparency;
- identify their unique growth trajectory to build relevance through concrete and consistent actions aligned with the increasingly complex expectations of their target audiences.
In conclusion, Gonzalo Brujó, Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer: “The Taste Arena is a huge opportunity for a multitude of brands. Brands in the food and beverage category, in fashion, in travel, and more, have a huge opportunity to move into the Taste Arena and drive outsized growth. By innovating in tune with customers’ evolving needs, creating coherent experiences, and demonstrating true brand leadership they can build the permission to enter the deeply intimate and personalized Taste Arena.”
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