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Food And Drink Trends, Consumer Outlook And More From Datassential’s 1st Annual Elevate Experience

Food Inflation, Food Supply Chain, Food Trends, Global Flavors, Industry Events, Ingredient Trends, Innovation, Menu Trends, Restaurants, Sales Effectiveness

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Datassential recently hosted its first annual Elevate Experience in Chicago, bringing together a group of customers and partners in an effort to collaborate, learn and experience the latest trends in the rapidly evolving food and beverage industry. 

The two-day experience allowed food and beverage industry professionals of all types to attend sessions where they had the opportunity to listen in on exclusive new research on consumer behavior including surprising purchase behavior in challenging economic times, learn about the state of venture capital investment in the industry and the record-setting food category this year, dive into still-emerging trends like artificial intelligence and personalized nutrition and much more. 

Plus, attendees got the chance to meet and mingle with Datassential experts, from trendologists that are on the forefront of trends coming to menus in the next several years, to experts that led them through a mixology workshop that allowed groups to create beverages using Datassential’s Concept Ideation tool, the industry’s first generative AI-powered food and beverage innovation studio.

Here are just a few insights the Elevate community was offered during the event: 

  • When thinking about something they want or need, consumers are least likely to give up going to restaurants as a trade-off, according to our just-released (exclusively to the Elevate community) One Consumer Theory research. What are they most likely to give up? Going to casinos and other forms of gambling.
  • Pet products and travel are the discretionary spending categories that consumers are least likely to cut in the last six months. 
  • People are more likely to eat just snacks for dinner as opposed to going out to a sit down restaurant during the week.
  • Despite venture capital investment in the food and beverage industry declining since 2021, last year holds the record for highest investment in global flavors. 
  • Emotion is the key to successful brand storytelling. Authenticity is right below that in terms of consumer importance. Consider more drastic examples illustrating these such as Patagonia’s founder giving the company away and Domino’s Pizza embraced customer complaints – broadcasting them in ads – about its food quality and vowed to do better. 
  • DNA testing and wearables that allow one to see how food affects the body quickly and more accurately for an individual, are already starting to create a market for personalized nutrition.

And of course, no Datassential event would be complete without food and drinks – lots (and lots) of trend-forward food and drinks. 

From a breakfast spread that included everything from ube lattes and espresso tonics to taro buns and kimchi croquettes, a global-themed lunch that featured a number of popular Chicago restaurants, including Michelin starred restaurant Galit and its James Beard Award-winning chef Zach Engel, the most challenging part about the two-day event may have just been the decisions about what to eat and drink among the wide array of offerings. 

The Datassential team also hosted tastings of new, trending flavors including Grains of Selim and pickled mango sauce to more widely seen but still new to many flavors, including dirty soda and orange wine. 

Elevate community members get access to exclusive research and community engagements throughout the year, allowing them to stay ahead of the latest trends, including an invitation to the annual in-person Elevate Experience and an annual tasting tour.

Companies from Cargill to Casey’s, Little Caesars to Lamb Weston, Beam Suntory to Brinker International have already participated in this unique group experience. Will you join us next time in Atlanta, or virtually before then? The Elevate community has monthly sessions to discuss the future of the industry with experts and peers, and new, exclusive research is being released on a regular basis in Report Pro, Datassential’s vast research library. 

We’re so excited to see you next time, and talk more about the future of this dynamic industry.

In order to get access to the Elevate community and experiences, you’ll have to become a subscriber. For more information, reach out here