TrendBite: How the personalisation trend is evolving

shutterstock 1729285792

Personalisation is emerging as a key trend in the food and beverage industry, as well as fashion and beauty. Here, we explore the topic of brand personalisation and discuss where this new trend might go in the future.

What is personalisation?

Personalisation is the process of tailoring products, services or experiences to meet the needs of individual consumers. With advances in science and technology, food and beverage brands are collaborating with technology companies to provide enhanced personalised nutrition solutions. Combined with an increasing consumer interest in what a product can do for overall health and wellbeing, a significant movement has evolved.

What’s driving the trend?

Consumers now demand a heightened experience from the products they consume. They are increasingly curious and experiential around food, beverage and even beauty products, often looking for more health conscious alternatives.

The personalisation trend manifests itself demographically in different ways, but there is huge, multi-generational appeal. Gen Z and Alpha expect personalisation as standard in their consumer experience. Millennials often seek unique and tailored experiences. Whereas the Silent Generation, Boomers and Gen X are likely to be the most health conscious, which has created huge opportunities around personalised, curative health.

How is it manifesting in different markets?

Personalised nutrition tailored to individual genetic profiling is shaking up the nutraceuticals and health supplements space. It has expanded into personalised vitamin supplements or meal kits offering new health benefits.

Recent research on the influence of the gut microbiome on health has created interest in the link between diet with gut health. A new market entrant in this space has developed a model where it provides a home kit containing gut health, blood fat and blood sugar tests. Based on the consumer's profile, it then tailors a recommended diet to their individual gut microbiome.

There is an explosion in the functional drink space, and beverages are having to do more than merely hydrate. Products like ginger shots have functional health claims such as improving gut health and enhancing immune function, and this is the tip of the innovative iceberg.

In the flavoured water space, a challenger UK brand is using a wide range of scented pods that are inserted into the lid of a stylish reusable bottle. When drinking the water, the scent is inhaled, and the experience of the flavour is created through retronasal olfaction. Consumers can personalise their fragrances, receiving them directly on a subscription model. GenZ and Gen Alpha have been quick to adopt this brand, citing the personalisation as an appealing driver. On a sustainable level, it’s also an attractive alternative to single-use plastic.

The personalisation concept is not unique to start-ups, as beverage brand owners of all sizes are exploring the space across multiple channels. Personalised vending machines are gaining traction as a result. These allow consumers to blend the drink they want, when they want, in no-calorie, caffeine-free or regular formats, encouraging experimentation and active engagement with specific flavours.

What’s next?

Personalised offerings around sensory preferences and nutritional goals will be an ongoing marketing opportunity, as long as companies innovate.

A 2021 Next in Personalization 2021 Report by McKinsey showed that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions. Consumers don’t just want personalisation, they demand it. This industry is moving really quickly and personalisation is critical to differentiate in a competitive market.

Want more?

We can help you stay ahead of the game. Contact a member of our Treatt Insights team about mapping consumer personalisation trends to your innovation pipelines. Click the button on the left and sign up to receive our TrendBites, market intelligence and product updates straight to your inbox, or follow us on LinkedIn to join the conversation.