Sophie Maxwell: 3 Ingredients Brands Need For The Future Of Food

Sophie Maxwell: 3 Ingredients Brands Need For The Future Of Food
Design & Architecture

Consumers are increasingly seeking food brands that are tailored to their individual needs.

Sophie Maxwell, Pearlfisher
  • 25 june 2014


Today we are looking at how we live and eat under a new lens. A big cultural shift is happening as we have new obligations and aspirations for our health, fitness and wellbeing stemming from a new desire to thrive. In this context, food and drink – and what we want from it – has become an increasingly complex issue. The evolution of new food offers, services and brands in just the past ten years has radically altered consumer eating patterns and behavior with a landscape spanning everything from organic and artisan, convenience to eclectic, allergen free to curated.

In the last few years, food brands in particular have become more emotional and direct, both in service and expression and our demands have increased in parallel as we have sought their back-stories and differentiating benefits. So whether we want biodynamic, cold-pressed or PH-neutral we are now living in a new republic of dynamic, purposeful products, able to rebuild ourselves with the help of brands that are increasingly tailored to our individual needs. And now, we are seeking out the brands that push our bodies’ capabilities further while continuing to complement and manage the effects of our changing lifestyles.

We have identified three essential “ingredients” for food brands to support this growing consumer desire to achieve our ultimate potential and truly ‘thrive’:

Information –Consumers are looking for direct and effective communication from brands (take the cult-like following of green juice as proof of the visual power of a wellbeing indicator) and new ways of connecting knowledge and behavior.

Food delivery service, Blue Apron is shaking up dinnertime by dropping off pre-proportioned ingredients and tasty recipes at your doorstep. Unlike most meal services, you get a real handle on health by cooking this food yourself. The recipes are inspired enough to be acceptable to the adventurous foodie and their step-by-step directions are accessible even to those who usually only cook by speed-dialing delivery.


Inspiration – Consumers want brands to create new and better ways to live through connected, inspirational solutions signaled by vibrant, positive and uplifting expressions.

Organic chocolate brand NibMor is expressing a healthy point of difference by positioning chocolate as both accessible and indulgent for a new generation of conscience-driven consumers. A hand as the primary design element playfully cues the correct portion size for each product in the range. On the back of pack these hands evolve to evoke the personality and vibrancy behind the brand.


Enrichment – Brands need to support and nurture their consumers, allowing us to refuel and rejuvenate with the best combination and balance of nature’s goodness.

As the food movement continues, brands must continue to evolve to continually enrich consumers’ growing appetites. Epic Bars turned both the protein bar and beef jerky categories on their heads, packing a new kind of nutritional punch by creating whole-food filled protein bars that are Paleo, gluten free, made from grass-fed meat and beautifully packaged to boot.


Brands are now expected to fulfill so many lifestyle requirements, delivering ultimate enjoyment and pleasure while still delivering function, purpose and goodness. Here lies the opportunity for brands to react and adapt, using the three key “ingredients” outlined above to better connect with consumers and help them thrive for the long term. By doing so they have the potential to deliver multiple emotional and physical benefits to their consumers, better marrying product and purpose to create a positive brand landscape and a new function for food.

Sophie Maxwell, Futures Director Pearlfisher

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