14
Mar

What Pie Tops Finn Partners’ Favorite Flavor?

Posted by: Rachel Neff in: Consumer Lifestyle - Food/Beverage -

In honor of Pi Day (March 14), we asked Finn employees to vote for their favorite flavor of pie. Yes, we know National Pie Day is Jan. 23, but are you really going to give up a chance for free pie in the break room? Really? Really? Then we want your slice. Well, 3.14 slices, to be exact.

Now, before revealing the winners, let’s dive into how we set this up. We were strict with the criteria. In fact, a bit of research went into the answer options. National lists from past years with top flavors and most popular choices. Google was widely consulted. Pies were shown in alphabetical order. One vote per person.

Any write-ins had to meet pie criteria. No cobblers, crumbles or crisps in this survey. Betty? Pandowdy? Grunt? Nope. It had to be pie.

While some respondents argued choosing merely one flavor of pie was a cruelty, there was a very vocal group of folks who reminded the survey-writers that pies could have savory options. Look, we see you, offices across the pond. The magic of shepherd’s pie or chicken pot pie didn’t cross our minds at first. We promise you’ll get a button to click on next year.

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15
Jan

The 2019 Food & Beverage Beat is Out!

Posted by: Malisa Meresman in: Food/Beverage -

It’s that time of year. We’re looking at 2018 in the rearview mirror, while scanning ahead to what 2019 has in store… or in stores (and bars and restaurants, for that matter). From the results of our newly released 2019 Food & Beverage Beat, we could be in for a wild ride.

We’re hearing about a renewed focus on gut health, and consumers are looking for foods and beverages that are naturally beneficial to the gut microbiome. This trend is playing out in a couple of ways. For one, there’s a desire to return to simpler, traditional preparations of foods, not to mention easily recognizable ingredients. Another offshoot is the increase of naturally fermented foods on store shelves. Already causing buzz and prompting questions, fermented foods are intriguing for their simplicity, heritage and health benefits.

Wine is popular, as ever, with consumers thirsting to learn more and try more from various regions, including Oregon, Spain, France and Australia. Oenotourism is expected to gain even more traction, as millennials, in particular, seek to quell their wanderlust and enrich their cultural appreciation with more hands-on, creative or collaborative experiences. For those who remain at home, even everyday wines offer an opportunity to explore the far corners of the world.

There’s more – think CBD, vintage spirits, no-proof drinks, instant coffee, plant-based menus – and more, but you’ll have to read about it all here.

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19
Oct

Trends and Takeaways from FounderMade Consumer Discovery Show

Posted by: Stephanie Celenza in: Consumer Lifestyle - Food/Beverage -

I was in Santa Monica this October for the FounderMade Consumer Discovery Show, a showcase for some of the most innovative brands, products and leaders in food, beverage, wellness and beauty. The event draws up-and-coming brands and growing businesses in the consumer packaged goods space, and this year’s show offered fascinating trends, brands and insights.

Overarching Trends

 Indigenous foods are big. Think gấc from Southeast Asia and popped water lily seeds from India. Founders are reaching to their roots and homelands to introduce Americans to natural foods packed with health benefits. From GacLife, gấc sparkling waters offer the highest amount of all-natural antioxidant carotenoids with the lowest level of sugar and calories. With just my fingerprint, their cool reader determined my carotenoid score. A good score is 500+, and mine was in the 200 range (eeek!). Plans are to roll out this technology with super-cool vending machines, so consumers can check their levels and then make a purchase to give their bodies a boost.

CBD is in everything. CBD (cannabidiol) is making its appearance in coffee, dermal patches, personal care products and more. It’s the new norm. One of the most interesting brands was The Good Patch. Like a birth control or nicotine patch, this transdermal patch delivers key ingredients to your blood stream faster than taking something orally. Stand-outs were Be C

alm (with menthol) and Nite Nite (with melatonin), both containing CBD.

The search for happiness: Depression, anxiety and angst are at an all-time high, so people are looking for ways to better their lives and self-care, such as through meditation, nutrition, mindfulness… and mud. I drank mud! MUD/WTR is a mixture of organic, earth-grown ingredients praised for their health and performance benefits. Packed with adaptogenic mushroom compounds, each ingredient in each blend has a specific purpose to “complement a life that demands one’s best.”

Personal connection and standing for something: Consumers – especially millennials – want to feel connected to brands and founders. Brands need to be able to tell their stories so that customers can relate. At the same time, consumers are seeking mission-based companies and organizations unafraid to take a stance on something (even if it brings controversy). As always, authenticity and transparency are critical.

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