Food, Friends, Fun: Courting the Millennial Diner

Have you heard? Endless Appetizers are better and back at TGIFridays. Not on your radar? Maybe because chances are you aren’t part of the most coveted consumer group today, Millennials.

The casual dining chain is just the latest using behavioral lures to fill seats with GenY spenders.  Endless  Apps were a very successful gimmick last year, especially with Millennial diners. This time around, the chain is removing limits on choices – a rule that Millennials found unappealing.

TGIFridays strategy aligns with our recent findings around Millennials and food. Our study shows that food Gen Yers are particularly interested in experimenting with food, creating experiences around dining, and sharing the occasion with others.  By allowing Millennials to customize their meal with friends around small plates is a home run for the chain. 

Is your food, beverage or dining brand clicking with Millennials? Hear the latest insights that could help your positioning and product development efforts in our upcoming webinar, Understanding How Millennials View Food & Nutrition.  We’ll be covering behavior, emotions, influences, and more. Click to register for Tuesday, March 10th or Wednesday, March 11th.

The Best Day of The Week to Work Out Is…

Do you know about Monday Campaigns?

Research by John Hopkins found that Monday’s are the best day of the week for positive health behaviors like working out. Why? People tend to look at the first day of the work week as a fresh start. So, John Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities have teamed up to make Monday’s the healthiest day of the week, or as they call it, “The day all health breaks loose.”

Since people seem to be more concerned with getting in shape for the summer months, we decided to find out how consumers plan to slay those extra calories. Our latest study focuses on how and why people work out, their favorite apparel, where they shop, what they spend and the food & beverages they choose to keep them energized. Check out our latest infographic below and let us know, are you getting your workout in today?

BuzzBack Workout Infographic

Sustainable and Innovative Food & Beverage Packaging Goes Commercial

If you haven’t heard yet, packaging innovation has made a huge leap towards sustainability recently. And I’m not talking about using less plastic, I’m talking about using no plastic at all!

It was just announced that Stonyfield has teamed up with WikiFoods to bring Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt Pearls to select Whole Foods stores in and around the Cambridge, MA area to test market them. WikiFoods, Inc. was launched by David Edwards, a bioengineer at Harvard in June of 2012. The natural and edible skin is made of electrostatic gel, natural food particles, nutritive ions and a polysaccharide.  You can see some examples of WikiPearl™ products in the video below and hear more about their collaboration with Stonyfield.

And that’s not the only sustainable food & beverage packaging story I’ve seen lately. I was completey mesmerized by Ooho, a double walled membrane made out of brown algae and calcium chloride. Three industrial design students from Spain have just won a Lexus Design Award for their water blob. However, they might need to solve the messiness factor (as shown below) before they go to market. Could these spherical membranes one day replace our plastic water bottle habit? Apparently, the process is fairly simple and inexpensive to create. They even have hopes that this will catch on as a DIY project. Ooho is showcasing their new design right now during Milan Design Week from April 8-14.

Of course, there’s still some waiting to be done before you might see any of these products at a store near you. In the mean time, you can try the WikiPearl Co-Creator here  

Photo credit: WikiFoods, Inc.


Filling the Cup of Consumer Cravings

Energy is a key theme for many of the food and beverage companies I work with day-to-day. In recent years, I’ve seen more and more of my clients looking to play in the energy space with products that not only deliver on functional benefits, but also connect with respondents on an emotional level. While these emotional benefits vary, there is usually one thing they all have in common – they get you up and get you moving so you can do more.

I recently read an article in the WSJ that says US energy drinks totaled $6 billion in 2012 according to Beverage Marketing Group. However, this same article caught my attention not because it focuses on energy drinks, but because it focuses on relaxation drinks – beverages that provide relaxation, anxiety relief, stress reduction or just a good ‘Chill.’

While energy is still sizzling as a category, there seems to be a growing trend of consumers wanting to slow down and destress. Recently, we explored the different dimensions of Luxury, and a predominant theme that arose was this idea of time, especially quality time, as a luxury they wish for. Maybe in the end drinks that slow you down will speed up in popularity.

Click here to request our Exploring Luxury study to find out more about the quality time that consumers are craving, in addition to other insights that were uncovered.