How we drink and eat by Josiah Go and Chiqui Escareal-Go

This is continuation of our annual consumer trends and prediction series for 2016 that started early 2016, where we shared some items from a list of 50 consumer trends. The list includes ten themes (How we LIVE, How we WORK, How we LOOK, How we RELATE to OTHERS, How we DRINK & EAT, How we PLAY, How we BUY OR SHOP, How we MARKET, How we become OBSESSED, How we DIE) and we shared one trend for each theme. For this week, we are expanding on the trends on how we drink and eat.

In our previous article, we shared one prediction on water refill stations upgrading to non-acidic water, where we saw that people are realizing the need for alkalinity in whatever is into their bodies (processed foods, for example are also acidic). As cancer thrives in an acidic environment, this knowledge will lead to a demand for alkaline water rather than the acidic water from most refill stations.

The complete list on how we eat and drink are listed below.

Rise of Mom’s Culinary Equalizer
· Most young Pinays don’t know how to cook, and those who do, can’t cook as well as their mom. Insecurity will lead to opportunity for food companies to exploit their magic ready recipes. Women, however, don’t want to be accused of not knowing how, of being lazy or not spending enough time as food is an expression of love in the Philippines so ready recipes should not be “too complete or too instant” that already excludes the effort of the housewives or young people in the cooking process. These ready recipes or mixes should give them room to personalize or to add their own touch or “secret” to the recipes.

Of course, we must also state here that there are more men nowadays who are more than willing to be in charge of kitchen duties.

Experimentation with new flavors other than orange.
· Consumers have become more and more experimental. Orange has actually been declining in preference scores in taste tests as validated by market research firm TNS.

It is also interesting to note that more Filipinos are into “juicing” and that there are now more options in buying bottled vegetables and fruit juices that are considered healthier.

High Quality Coffee Culture
· Exposed to many innovations in coffee, we have become more discriminating coffee consumers not wanting to just settle for the ordinary. These not-so-mainstream brands are consumed by people sending subtle signals to each other about their quality preference driven by social media, creating a new group of consumers with almost cultish demands and expectations.

This coffee culture has also provided job opportunities for baristas. A JCI Manila program called Project Opportunities was developed to provide barista training for out-of-school youths and who have since been hired by reputable coffee shops.

To Go
· Multi-tasking requires more time working so To Go is a trend to be expected. It is also part of a trend of cooking less and less at home.

There is a business opportunity here depending on target market and location. Recently, we met an entrepreneur who works from home, actually, from his condominium unit where he supplies affordable meals to other condo-dwellers who don’t have time to cook or do not want to keep buying fastfood. Since there are about 4000 other units in this area, a mere 10% of that market is already too many for him and he is simply happy to do business at 1% of that market daily.

These are just 5 of the 50 trends and predictions we were able to put together for 2016. With the speed of change and even more demanding consumers, we expect 2017 to be even more volatile and challenging. As marketers, the power of observation and sensemaking are more important now than ever before. * * *

Josiah Go and Chiqui Escareal-Go are Chairman and CEO respectively of the marketing training and advocacy firm Mansmith and Fielders Inc. For feedback, write to mentors@mansmith.netor log on to for more information.

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Josiah Go features the movers and shakers of the business world and writes about marketing, strategy, innovation, execution and entrepreneurship


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