Several years ago, our consumer insights team decided it was time for us to jump on the segmentation bandwagon. We knew, though, ours had to be something that COMPLEMENTED other segmentations already out there. After realizing the treasure trove of data we had been sitting on from 2015-2018, we dug in and created Givaudan FlavorFinders™.
What does FlavorFinders™ mean for me?
Prior to FlavorFinders™, we found ourselves looking at data in the “tried and true” ways. We looked at what the general population was telling us and we worked to tease out differences by looking at things like Males vs Females, Millennials, Hispanics, or a particular brand or category user. But then along comes FlavorFinders™ and we realized there was SO much more to this data. We realized that looking at data only in “tried and true” ways was not telling us the whole story. We came to realize everyone in these groups thought differently. Some Males, Hispanics and Boomers were more adventurous than others when it comes to food and flavors.
Looking at the data now is SO much more insightful and layers on a view that wasn’t there before…and quite frankly, was leaving some big holes in the “stories” we were trying to uncover about consumers and flavors.
So… What is It?
Have you ever wondered why some people find new food experiences thrilling and others find them terrifying? Are there ‘flavor personality’ traits that can be segmented just like behavioral traits? What if understanding these traits could help increase your chances of product success? Have you read our posts about the Followers and Investigators?
To put it simply: we realized that meaningful consumer segmentation is essential in designing successful new products for our customers! We partnered with Bellomy Research and applied this practice to flavor preferences specifically, producing a complementary segmentation founded on more than a decade of research. The overarching goal is to understand how to meet specific consumers where they are – on their own flavor adoption curve.
The Data, Now
Now when looking at the data, we realize our method of analyzing the total population caused us to miss some critical pieces. Now, we see that a more adventurous Trailblazer may love Horchata but that flavor doesn’t even show up in the top flavor for the total population. If you were targeting a Trailblazer, then you were missing some pretty interesting insights.
Or, what if that total population told you everyone LOVED Apple for a…let’s say Flavored Vodka, but when you look at the FlavorFinders™ data, you find that everyone LOVES Apple for a Flavored Vodka…EXCEPT the Hesitators — the group you are targeting!
The Tried & True
These are just a few high-level examples, but these kinds of insights are what we see EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. we look at the FlavorFinders™ overlay. Don’t get me wrong, looking at the data the “tried and true” way all these years has provided us some great direction. But with this new way to look at the data, our insights and recommendations have evolved and are much richer than they were just a year ago.
So, to the “tried and true” ways…I salute you. Don’t worry, there will still be times I’ll be back to engage with you, but for now, I must move on with our evolved way of looking at data thanks to FlavorFinders™. If we had only known then what we know now…