The global Consumer Insight team at a major food company was looking for strategic knowledge around the current “healthy food” landscape in Europe. In order to help them uncover opportunities for new product innovation and to keep up with an evolving consumer, Kantar was asked to help them identify the key drivers of consumer engagement with the topic.
Commissioning occurred as COVID-19 lockdowns were occurring, so a non-classic methodology was necessary in order to study the consumer landscape unbiased by health concerns specific to the pandemic.
A social media-led approach was chosen in order to study consumer attitudes in the period before COVID-19, as well as to map and weight the key drivers in consumer decision-making around health food based on spontaneous consumer expressions.
Social media posts were collected across four countries and tagged via Kantar’s STAN AI, based on key thematic areas of interest (e.g. Health Goals, Benefits, Strategies and Dishes). A correspondence map analysis allowed us to define the health driver areas together with the Consumer Insight team.
Seven key health drivers were defined for deeper analysis. This was done quantitatively, by exploring data intersections to identify key health motivators, strategies employed, and ingredients and dishes strongly associated with each driver. With a qualitative approach, we brought insights to life around the type of language, dish presentations, and health/cooking tensions prevalent for each driver.
The health drivers were further weighted by Google search volumes to give a reading of opportunity size, and further analysis was performed around specific diets to highlight addressable needs in each space.
The findings from this study are being shared with Innovation teams internally to inform new product development.
A follow-on pilot exercise has been carried out to specifically study the healthy food landscape for the Tabletop Sauces category, to assess opportunity areas for sauces to address particular health drivers, goals, benefits or strategies.