Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Free Gluten... ¿New Trend?

Gluten. What is gluten? How is it affecting society? What is it causing? Do celiac and non celiac act in the same way in front of free gluten products? Is this a necessity or a trend or a revolution? 

The gluten, a glycoprotein found in some cereals such as wheat, rye, barley and oats, is present in our daily diet and in the trolley of the person responsible for the household purchases, therefore, the store shelves are becoming a huge repertoire of free gluten products acting as commercial claim for many brands.

Without realizing it gluten free products have entered inside the basket of the preservatives, additives, proteins, etc. and more ingredients that help to preserve the food and that, we all want to avoid in our daily diet.  Gluten has become one of the biggest trends of recent times.

In addition to that, the food industry is seeing a gold mine on that protein. Unintentionally, gluten has become the protein that the modern society wants to erase of their diet even without having been diagnosed as intolerant or gluten allergic by a specialist doctor. This has turn to a mass phenomenon born from the need of the people gluten intolerant or allergic. A need that claims to the food manufacturers to:

  • Have a clear labeling on products, helping them to avoid risk in their diet. 
  • Have a wide variety of products without gluten.

Intolerants also claim for an affordable price. In this issue the distributor brands are gaining much ground. According to data by Hamilton Intelligence the main purchasers of gluten free products (pastries, pasta, bread, biscuits, flour or cereals) usually buy brands of the food distributor (private-label).

Died and trend or intolerance? Where is the origin?

It is difficult that the trend to eat products “without” don’t influence us. More and more people join to the “without” product consumption (without gluten, without lactose, without preservative, without salt, etc). The last published data regarding to gluten is that the 30% of the adults in the USA-almost 1 out of 3- has stopped or are trying to stop consuming products with gluten.   

Elisabet Suárez

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Consumers from the cadle

Perharps for the fact of becoming a mother and for every thing that this involves, you feel suddenly inverse in a world, until this moment, unknown for you and it is then when you see how they grow up and how they learn and evolve and, moreover, when you realised how fast time passes and the constantly changing needs that they experienced. All of this, united with my investigation task, leads me to dive into this fascinating world of market reasearch of children.

Through the market research we try to bring closer the frims with the clients, known them better in order to offer them services/products more adapted to their likes, preferences and needs. And for that, it is also important known the children market, even thought studying this target it is always a challenge.

A challenge that adquires importance day to day because this young consumers increasingly become part of the decissions of the buying process at home. What mother has not bought a product in the supermarket at the insistence of his son at the shop shelve? Or at the insistence of the child when seeing the advert on the TV? Or what mother has not succumbed under the sentence “my friend has it”? Because we don’t have to forget that the main prescribes are the kids, the classemates or the games that encourage to “have what someone else has”.

For that it is important to understand this segment, understand the behaviour of the kids. How do they think? How do they act? What do they need? How do they connect with the brands? How do they absorb all the inputs they get? What influences in their decisions? How do they interact with their friends?...

But if we analyzed in detail this target, not only we need to understand well their behaviour, their concerns and their motivations, we also need to take in account the complexity of this segment due to their fast evolution, what they like today they don’t tomorrow and that is because they are constantly searching for 
the novelty. An other aspect to consider is that it is a target that develops themself so quickly for the reason that in the short term they have fundamental changes, concluding that nothing has in common a kid 5 years all with one of 9 or this with one of 12.

Therefore we must made products/services to mesure for them. for each moment of their childhood and is for this that when we face an investigation with children we need to take in account different facets:

  • Headed Target: Important to define what ages we would like to collect because we must do small age cuts (3-5 / 6-8 / 9-11 / 12-14) or we can also have the need to study unique ages (P4 kids, kids from the 1st year of the primary school, ...) because their tastes and opinions are really different and what can perfectly fit with a 5 years old child can not fit with on of 8 years. Another important topic when working with kids is getting the fathers or tutors permissions for child under 14 years old.
  • The interviewers: It is important to select well the interviewers because they need touse a language adapted to the children. Moreover, they need to be albe to stabilshed a good relation with the kids in order to extract food information from them.
  • The questions and the wayof asking them: It is important adpat the questions to the target language and at their comprehensive level, this implies using comprehensible scales for them and easy to answer, supported in many occasions with draws or incons very easy for them to identify.
  • The techniques to use: These are manyany and varied and it will highly depend on the product/service that we are valuing or on the information we need to apply one or another. At the generic level we can speack about quantitative studies (hall-test, home-test, pre-test and post-test, studies about habits, use or actituds, conjoint analysis, etc.) or also qualitative studies (kid observation in situ, focus group, projective techniques, etc.).

Finally, it is important to remark that the brands must take in account that we are facing a permeable and influenced target and more than beyond the law, the brand should approach them in a responsible way.

If we keep in mind all these aspects we will realized a good investigation that will help us approaching this small consumers that are usually the most demanding.

Mónica Rabasó