Flavor palate

imgresI have been interested in the food space for a long as I can remember.  One of the reasons I invested in Ricks Picks, almost a decade ago, is that I believed that there was a desire for new brands with different flavor palates that had been sitting on the grocery shelves for decades.  It was also the beginning of people wanting healthy food vs processed.  Labels were starting to be read and reading words like disodium inosinate on the can meant there the product was filled with chemicals to assure what you were eating had a shelf life of a decade or two was not going to fly anymore.

Flavor palates are interesting.  Sir Kensington’s shifted their ketchups taste because the majority of us are just used to good old Heinz.  I know I am.  People who are starting companies that make products from gluten-free cookies to ice cream to cake mixes are millennials who understand what their generation wants to taste and buy.  They also understand how the consumer wants to make a product.  Most don’t know how to cook.  Nobody took home economics – just noting that I did in 7th grade.  It is easier to just buy something made but they do have a desire to eat around the table with friends and family.

The big food companies are starting to get wake up.  Campbell’s Soup is changing their recipes for the next generations flavor palate.  Consumer preferences are shifting and if you want to continue to own the market then you have to shift.  Campbells is also shifting its ad dollars to social media and digital advertising.  They are also acquiring companies that they know resonate with the customers.  It is impressive how they are moving.

Did I mention that the person leading the charge at Campbells Soup is a woman?  Hats off to Denise Morrison, the chief executive officer at Campbells.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    You and I both on this one.Disrupting the food biz is just hard as the distribution chains are honestly no different than they were 15 years ago for perishable goods.Is how we work with Whole Foods today that much different that how we dealt with Circuit City? In some ways yes, mostly no.They that own distribution rule. With perishable goods, new brand or not, that’s the kicker.Smart smaller brands find a way to do multiple channels at once–retail, dtc and channel. To depend on just channel is a huge gamble in my opinion.

    1. Gotham Gal

      nothing has changed…it has to

  2. AMT Editorial Staff

    Whole Foods becomes a gate keeper for many…keep the bad stuff out. Example. People have fits about farmed salmon and shrimp from certain waters. But the customer can feel “good” about buying farmed salmon and any shrimp at Whole Foods because they trust that WF has screened the supplier and done all the homework already. So it’s analogous to why people hire a money manager. They “can” do it, but don’t want to invest the time/resources…..

    1. Gotham Gal

      nice analogy

  3. panterosa,

    Joanne, I wonder do you see the difference from the making dinner vs. cooking model?Food TV converted a ton of people into “foodies” who were sick of eating what “making dinner” types put on the plate. My mother as a Julia Child disciple from day one was a total anomaly in the 70’s, at some point was in step with increasing cooking interest, and today finds most people so hyper aware of their food as to be obsessive.I’m all for the big brands catching up, and for better farm practices, and labeling, and ingredient quality increasing. I’m a little put off by hyper foodie-ism. Interested in your thoughts.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Pendulums swing. I am happy to see people caring about what they eat. Also as the world has become flatter there is access to many different cuisines. People from different places have different pallets and bring something unique to the tableI don’t want to eat products when I don’t know what’s in it. Local is good but as always there is a balance.