What do Mindful Nurturists care about? Who are the Experientialists? Read on to meet these newly adapted food and drink personas who will emerge in 2024 after a prolonged period of uncertainty. They will have adjusted priorities that brands need to know now in anticipation of their evolved food and drink demands.
WGSN’s Food & Drink Strategist Claire Lancaster speaks to FoodNavigator, detailing two of our five personas here:
The Mindful Nurturists
This persona prioritises care above everything: for themselves, their community and the planet. They value holistic wellbeing solutions and advocate for inclusion.
“The pandemic and the climate crisis have brought the importance of care into sharp focus, and the Mindful Nurturists are rising up and bringing with them new priorities: wellbeing over work, community over competition, and the planet over profit,” says Lancaster.
“They will seek out healing and restorative food and drink that supports their holistic wellness goals. A benevolent persona that values security, tradition and inclusion, they will look to brands that help them extend hospitality and nurture the communities around them as well as care for the environment.”
As interest in and familiarity with adaptogens grow, functional ingredients with roots in traditional medicine will make their way into more accessible everyday food and snacks, offering greater variety and more targeted functions with the added bonus of convenience.
Brands that promote safety, wellbeing and healing while offering convenience will appeal to the Mindful Nurturists, who seek to carve out moments of self-care or recreate a home away from home. The rise of alcohol-free drinks will also appeal, as they seek healthful takes on wind-down rituals and advocate for those under-represented by the culture of drinking, whether for cultural, religious or health reasons.
Aiming to turn chaos into the fantastic, this persona fluctuates between digital and physical realities and turns every new food and drink experience into an extravaganza.
The Experientialists not only welcome next-level innovation, but look to construct lifestyles around new concepts and ways of thinking, actively supporting future-forward ventures at every turn. While their appetite for autonomous discovery is a key driver, they will seek to forge a genuine connection with the brands they buy from, as well as understand why the products they enjoy taste, feel and smell the way they do.
They will embrace phygital food realities, multisensorial experiences, lesser-known global cuisines and ingredients, and fresh culinary solutions. The areas of greatest opportunity for new product development include those which offer digital activities that lead to rewarding eating realities IRL, or multisensory encounters that broaden the mind and unpick established codes of dining.
A post-pandemic desire for connectivity will influence their search for satisfying stimulus, with creative product storytelling and engaging phygital realities fulfilling a need for immersive food experiences.
WGSN subscribers can discover more about the Mindful Nurturists and the Experientialists as well as the other three personas in Food & Drink Personas 2024. Live on the site.
If you're not a WGSN subscriber, check out our 2024 Personas sample report to get a taste of what WGSN Food & Drink has to offer.