How to cater for different consumer taste buds

How to cater for different consumer taste buds

In the midst of Nairobi traffic, you will often find people selling all sorts of items from mobile phone chargers for your car to tea towels and bananas. One of the new additions to street sales is hawkers selling fresh lemons and ginger.

While marketing ginger and garlic in the midst of moving traffic may seem a little misguided, the consumer insight that drives the trade is meticulous.

The COVID Pandemic has made consumers care more for healthier food choices. One of the most important emerging food trends from the pandemic is the desire for foods that are rich in immune boosting properties.

While food and beverage brands may have a hard time being as agile as street food sellers in catering for emerging consumer tastes, the do have more capacity and resources  to create lasting connections with consumers at a deeper, and more sustainable level beyond one-off sales.

Taste tests are a significant investment for any food or beverage brand looking to connnect with consumers at the point where it matters most- the palate.

Consumer taste tests can offer food and beverage products insights into how customers are likely to perceive the product tastes and how appealing/ un-appealing some tastes are likely to be.¬† Taste tests can help marketers select the right ingredients, improve on formulations to enhance sweetness or savoury-ness and even determine how long a product’s shelf life should be.

Taste tests matter all the more for Africa’s market place where palate diversity differentiates consumers for the same product. What may be perfectly sweet in Egypt could be too sweet for Malawi and what could be lacking in spice in Senegal may be unbearably fiery for South Africa.

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