2016 Food Trends Series: #6 See It To Experience It

Seeing the experience is the new trial.

We’re continuing our series on 2016 Millennial Food Trends. As we introduced in week 1, the emergence of the Millennial Mindset® is starting to shape how all generations look at products being consumed today.  With this in mind, our team read through piles of trends reports including Huffington Post, Food Navigator, Nation’s Restaurant News, Kantar, Fuse Marketing, Convenience Store Decisions, Mintel and many more to pull forward the trends worth paying attention to. It all leads to one extremely important insight: Brands and manufacturers must strive to have “sympathy,” which is deeper than just having “empathy.”

This week, we discuss the 7th trend we studied See It To Experience It.

The idea of consumer experience has evolved from just consumer actions to consumer engagement. This means that something as simple as viewing a video has the potential to create an experience for a consumer. TastyTM, a division of BuzzFeedTM, has started a revolution in cooking. The videos posted to the account show not just what a final meal looks like on the plate, but also how to make the recipe in 60 seconds or less. This has driven an extremely high amount of engagement because it has given viewers the tools they need to create their own experience. Similarly, Microsoft® released what the future of football might look like using augmented reality for the Super Bowl.

The fact is, Millennials have a harder time imagining the end state of a product. For example, when it comes to cooking, their skills are too limited, and they have not yet built the experience needed in the kitchen. Brands should think about how they can better visualize the experience, end state and creativity that can be discovered through the product. Seeing it all the way through is the new trial.


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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