A Year in Food Culture: Five Notable Hartman Articles of 2022
Season’s greeting and happy holidays! With an exciting 2023 on the horizon, where are consumers headed next? Five top Hartman articles from 2022 showcase how, from diet, cooking, and meals, to sustainability, grocery shopping and organic foods, we’ve been studying what’s ahead for food and beverages companies as consumers lead the way forward.
Food Sourcing in America 2022 is our sixth syndicated project dedicated to food and beverage procurement and builds on a long line of research that examines both in-person and digital food procurement in terms of both grocery shopping and use of foodservice. The report finds that cultural drivers— who we are, where we live, what we do, how we connect, what we value— are constantly shifting in modern society, informing and shaping food lives, including how we shop. Modern food and beverage procurement occurs in a wide variety of ways both online and in person, and shoppers expect to move fluidly across shopping methods and channels. targets.
For over 20 years The Hartman Group has been examining the complex cultural and social relationship between consumer eating behavior and connections to the term "diet" (as well as linked topics like obesity and weight management). In 2004 we conducted a deep dive study of consumer perceptions of obesity (Obesity in America: Understanding Weight Management from a Consumer Perspective). At the time, we found that most Americans did not accept the term obesity in relationship to themselves, only other people. It was also the middle of the Atkins diet craze, or the tail end of it. America had not yet overcome its approach to weight loss through crash dieting.
Familiarity with the term “sustainability” has grown steadily in recent years, but consumer confidence in identifying sustainable products and companies lags behind. And yet, there are opportunities for food and beverage companies to stand out from the crowd and clearly communicate their sustainable practices and product attributes. Consumers want to reward you with their purchases.
With two years of a global health crisis under their belts, consumers are seeking to bolster their health with better-for-you foods and beverages, made more accessible through private label offerings. The Hartman Group’s report, Organic 2022: Then, Now, Next, finds that this trend is not playing out evenly across the population, with differences driven not just by consumer orientation toward healthier, organic, higher-quality foods but also by the way the pandemic affected different consumers and their households. As a result, some now buy less of these better-for-you products.
At the Dining Table finds different consumers place different priorities on meals, resulting in multiple avenues through which consumers engage in the experience. Three archetypes that characterize highly engaged consumers can help identify these nuances and serve as a model for future-proofing food and beverage brands and companies.