What’s a Flavor Follower?

Are you someone who is willing to follow a trend, but not start one? Do you try something after your friends tell you it’s worth it? Are you cautiously adventurous? If so, you might be a Flavor Follower!

Givaudan’s FlavorFinders flavor segmentation program identifies a Flavor Follower as someone who is willing to try something new after it’s been road-tested by other, more adventurous eaters. Followers try variations of flavors they already enjoy (think strawberry mango or jalapeno ranch). Another characteristic of this persona is that they will eat at national restaurant chains, because they’re a safe option, but they aren’t afraid to try new restaurants as well.

This flavor segmentation group is the second largest – representing 21% of the population. That means 1/5 of consumers walking into a grocery store are looking for products with flavors that are familiar, yet exciting. They aren’t looking for some exotic flavor they’ve never heard of, but they’re also willing to look beyond plain strawberry.

I Am a Proud Flavor Follower!

When I heard our team describe each of the Flavor Finders personas, I knew instantly I was a Flavor Follower. I am the person who anxiously awaits for seasonal and limited time offer items to hit menus and shelves. I can’t wait to see what flavors are available and how they’re tweaked each year to provide a different experience. I feel comfortable trying something like blackberry s’mores as a summer seasonal product, because I know I like s’mores and while blackberry isn’t the #1 fruit choice for everyone, it’s familiar and approachable.

I also look for flavor combinations where I know I like one or both of the flavors, because it’s less risky than choosing something I’ve never tried before. I don’t want to spend money on a product and not like it! I’ve recently become more open to trying flavor combinations with mango. I’ve never been a mango fan, but when paired with coconut – I seem to like it. Plus, mango is everywhere (especially in the summer), so I can barely avoid it.

Let’s talk dining out. I have my favorites: Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, and Penn Station are always on my short list. I feel comfortable with those, but I can always change up my order if I’m feeling adventurous. I know exactly what quality to expect, so that allows me to feel confident enough to switch things up every once in a while. At Chick-fil-A, I might occasionally go for the spicy sandwich and I always get Polynesian sauce – never plain old barbecue or ketchup. Places like Chipotle and Penn Station allow me to customize my order to my exact level of adventurousness for the day. I can decide to spice it up or go plain-Jane!

But what I really love, is to try family-owned or hole-in-the wall restaurants and diners. I usually go for what they’re known for, or I look for something I know I’ll like (pizza, burgers, or chicken entrees) and see how each restaurant puts their own spin on it. I always make sure to keep an eye out for specialty house-made sauces, toppings, or seasonings. But, let’s be clear, I won’t be ordering the fish that still has it’s head or cow’s tongue…I don’t care how delicious you say it is.

A Trip to the Grocery With a Follower

So what catches my eye at my local Kroger on my weekly Sunday grocery trip? I am someone who genuinely enjoys going to the grocery store. Not doing home delivery or ordering online to pick up in the parking lot. I mean actually, going inside with a list and wandering down almost all aisles. Like a true Follower, I won’t go down an aisle I know I don’t need anything from, but I enjoy the end cap displays and new product and seasonal features. I am more like a Flavor Hesitator in that I have a list and I will stick to that for the most part, but I’m not interested in buying the cheapest product all the time, and I might forego my typical selection for something I haven’t tried before.

After I have my staples in the cart (fruit, meat, and dairy) then I can allow my tastebuds to drive me. I like looking at new salad dressings, condiments, potato chip flavors, seasonal yogurt and ice cream varieties, and I can’t stop myself from looking at the brightly-colored coffee creamers, even though I don’t drink coffee! Here are some of the items I’ve picked up from the grocery in the past few months that I hadn’t ever tried before:

Did you pick up any of these products at the store recently? Wondering if you’re a Flavor Follower, too? To understand why we’ve segmented consumers the way we have, check out how we got started creating FlavorFinders. If you want to know where you or your customers fall in this unique segmentation, contact your Givaudan Account Manager.

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