Simple is better.
This could be 2010’s most powerful marketing mantra.
Foodfacts.com has noted the trend. If 2009’s hottest sales pitch was all about buying stuff on the cheap, 2010 marketing will increasingly stress less as more, as in fewer parts, additives or ingredients. While the trend is taking hold in many product categories, including health and beauty items, nowhere is it more apparent than with things we eat and drink.
This might be more marketing magic than reality. How can a product made by major food manufacturers be made to sound as simply healthy as something made fresh in your kitchen? “One way to spin this is talk about how few ingredients your product contains,” says Tom Vierhile, product analyst at researcher Datamonitor.
Companies that offer products with the fewest number of ingredients compared with rivals stand to win big in 2010, says Lynn Dornblaser, trends guru at Mintel. Mintel has tracked decreases this year in the average number of ingredients in 19 product categories including dairy products, processed meats and even pet foods.
Consumers these days not only want to know what’s in the stuff they eat and drink — they want to know what’s not. In a nation confronted by a whirlwind of food scares and mounting worries about the healthiness of a plethora of things commonly used in processed foods, folks increasingly are demanding cleaner food labels: no artificial food colorings (some of which have been linked to hyperactivity in children), no chemical additives (such as MSG) and no chemical preservatives (such as BHA). If they can’t pronounce it, consumers don’t want it.
The new marketing code word being used to boast about fewer ingredients: simple. From 2005 to 2008, there’s been a 64.7% increase in new products using the words “simple” or “simply” in the product or brand name, reports researcher Datamonitor.
In 2010, products that tout simplified labels will be more sought after than those clinging to the formerly hot buzzwords “organic” or “natural,” says Dornblaser.
At its simplest, simple sells.