Trend Tour Planning
The 5 W's to make sure you are prepared.
The 5 W's to answer before you go on tour?
Every time I go on a food trend tour I want to make sure that we capture not just the images and video but also the 5 most important questions so that when we present the final draft there is no doubt the goal has been met. I realize the 5 W's are not a mystery and you certainly have heard of them before, but when you are doing a food trend tour they take on a different meaning as it pertains to the goals of your tour.
Read on to learn what I mean and happy trend touring!
WHO: This is important to decide who should actually spend their time on the streets and will they bring a benefit to the tour? If you are seeking ideas to innovate New Product Development (NPD) perhaps you will bring along a food scientist. If you are looking for exciting new ways to apply your existing product to a concept, I would suggest you bring your chef with. This is someone who will be able to examine the steps it would take to put your product into a like concept and the challenges your customer may have putting it on their menu, Recently at the #RCA2019 expo Ana Maria Basurto Head of Food Innovation KFC Global claimed that they have scrapped very good ideas simply because it took only a few seconds too long to make a new item in their kitchens, really...just a few seconds too long and your product has been passed up for another idea.
"This has been an integral resource for my company" Todd Eucke, Marketing Manager, Lakeside Foods
WHAT: Exactly what are you searching for? This doesn't need to be overly complex but it does need to be answered. Perhaps you are freshening up your perspective on Macro Trends, like "Instagram-able". This is real and with trillions of food photo's taken every year you need to make sure your next idea you pitch is worth someone taking its picture and posting it. Food & Beauty are becoming more closely linked than ever before, consider collagen in your beverage...yeah, its real just search "drinkable collagen" on Amazon and get ready to slurp up this peptide.
WHEN: Make sure you are aware of your production capabilities and your customers pipeline. Typically Food Service operators plan out 1 year in advance. If you want to find out what they are focused on try becoming active with their "culinary summits" or when you have a meeting bring them a bit more than just a catalog. Bring your chef along and let the flood gates open for opportunity.
WHERE: Very important if you are creating regional offerings, or if what menu item you want to influence has a strong presence in multiple cities. Trend tours can be exhausting if not planned for and especially if there is not a end destination.WHY: This is the most crucial question to ask because it shapes the entire mindset of everyone on the tour. If you do not know why you are going on this tour then whats the point of this event.
"If your product is not on the menu, it needs to be on tour". Dan Follese
Founder/Chief Culinary Translator
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