Gama spoke to Simone Zucchetti, R&D Manager, Amadori.
What are your day to day activities as Research & Development Manager?
My main activity is to combine the diverse demands of the business into an organic development plan that is aligned to the company’s strategic goals. We are a team of professionals using our experience and passion to offer consumers innovative ideas, working every day to ensure our products our fresh, healthy and safe.
What key trends do you expect to shape food innovation in 2014?
Consumers are evolving: rather than being passive they are becoming increasingly interested in – and informed about – what the industry is offering.
Thanks to our strategic decision to manage the whole production process in person, at Amadori we are able to guarantee the origin of the raw materials we use and have direct control over all the phases of the production cycle. This direct relationship allows us to accurately assess the sustainability of our production activities, thus helping us to reduce our energy consumption and optimize resources.
Aside from this, our keen eye on what consumers are demanding has led us to ensure that everyone can enjoy our products, since they are allergen free and have gluten-free certification. This was instead of creating dedicated products catering to special dietary needs.
What should manufacturers do to be successful in the current economic climate?
The current economic climate demands shrewd positioning to ensure that products and prices are more accessible to consumers. In addition, it is important to support the distribution sector through significant promotional activities to enable a rapid turnover of products.
The market will undoubtedly come through this sustained period of crisis having changed and having adopted new values: in the past few years a lot of work has gone into developing innovative product and business concepts.
Which markets (countries) or consumer groups currently offer the greatest growth opportunities for FMCG companies?
The nature of consumer groups and markets is becoming increasingly transitory and less identifiable with specific trends. Much more important is the definition of usage occasions and of implied needs which can both be multifaceted and transcend national boundaries. The fragmented nature of meal occasions, personalized offerings and sustainability and ethics in business are the keys to continued growth.
How do companies best achieve growth in developed or saturated markets?
Offerings are now polarized into “premium” and “value for money” and these two segments are what what is driving innovation.
Innovation should not only be about products – it should also be about the services that products create, not only for consumers but also at the level of distribution, by creating new channels for communication and fulfillment.
From a marketing perspective, how is the way companies are looking to reach and engage with consumers changing? How can a brand successfully resonate with consumers?
Traditional marketing approaches are struggling to understand and reach consumers, especially younger ones. The focus has to be on going to where consumers already are and this is leading to the exponential growth of digital marketing and related campaigns.
It is these digital platforms that allow you to actively listen to and interact with consumers in ways that would be unimaginable through traditional methods of market analysis, both in terms of quantity and quality.