What consumer values drive innovation in on-the-go products?
Think about your favourite on-the-go food and drinks; what makes them appealing?
You probably thought of their convenient size and features like resealable lids, making them easy to take anywhere. However, on-the-go foods and drinks can provide other convenience benefits.
For example, on-the-go versions of products provide an easy way to exercise portion control. Since gaining weight during the pandemic has been an issue for many Kiwis, portion control is something that’s going to resonate with consumers as they return to life outside of lockdown.
Shortcut to breakfast
Breakfast is another area where on-the-go food and drinks provide a convenient option. Have you ever skipped breakfast because you’re low on time? You’re not alone - IGH’s 2019 national survey revealed that almost half of all those surveyed admitted to skipping breakfast during the week, despite one third agreeing that breakfast was an important meal.
On-the-go options that can claim to be rich in healthy breakfast nutrients like fibre, calcium, and iron are an excellent alternative for time-poor professionals or anyone else who wants a shortcut through the most important meal of the day.
Our Uncle Tobys cereal range has several single-serve potion control products that provide a convenient breakfast or snack option. The range includes 65-gram varieties of Uncle Tobys Breakfast Bakes, single-serve Uncle Tobys Natural Style Muesli packs, and Uncle Tobys Quick Oats Cups which only require you to add hot water and go.
Find more info on pages 58-59 of the Nestlé professional product catalogue.
Functional diet boosters
According to Science Learning Hub, “Functional food is any processed food claimed to have a health-promoting or disease-preventing property that goes beyond the basic macronutrient and micronutrient functions.”
With an increasing demand for functional foods and beverages, more on-the-go products are being marketed to support gut wellness, boost immunity, and even enhance cognitive performance for students and professionals.
Studies on the mental health impact of the pandemic have increased awareness about the importance of caring for and nurturing emotional wellbeing. This has caused an increased focus on snacks with functional ingredients that claim to support relaxation.
See this article from NZ Herald that explains the kinds of foods that may help reduce stress.
Hygiene and safety
Consumers are also increasingly concerned with hygiene and safety when it comes to food and drink products. In a study conducted by Lightspeed/Mintel, almost 75% of respondents said they prefer to buy products with packaging that will protect the contents from contamination.
Individually wrapped on-the-go products alleviate concern for consumers who are worried about tampering or accidental contamination. The increased emphasis on hygiene has even led to some brands innovating with anti-bacterial labelling - that’s right, the product’s label disinfects your hands when you hold it!
At Nestlé, our single-serve MILO sachets are an example of an option perfect for consumers concerned with hygiene and safety, as well as portion control.
Browse the Nestlé professional product catalogue for the full range of single-serve drinks.
Follow these trends with smart grab-and-go options
Although the trends above are being observed in the on-the-go product category, there’s no reason you can’t follow them with your businesses’ offering and cater to the changing needs of your customers.
Grab and go meals give your business an entryway to serving convenient options that address portion control, functional ingredients, food safety, and more.
For example, you could provide a nutrient-dense breakfast option that targets busy workers around your vicinity or create a lighter version of one of your popular menu items for those who are interested in portion control.
Prioritise convenience throughout your business
Growth and innovation in the on-the-go category highlight the importance of convenience for consumers. This focus on convenience goes beyond just access to quick takeaway meals. Consumers are looking for options that make it easier for them to prioritise their health and support their lifestyle, including concerns over hygiene and safety.
Going forward, think about what you could change in your business to make things easier for your customers, like adopting a simpler menu design or using emerging foodservice technologies to deliver more efficient service.