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02 December 2021

The era of the new “phygital” consumer

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4 min.
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Yes, the transition is already underway. The marriage between food and connectivity has the blessing of the new consumer. We’re celebrating! Welcome to the new era of the phygital consumer.

The naturalness and speed with which technology is integrated into the food purchase and consumption process will make the phygital experience a commodity.

IoT, 4.0, Smart Food, 5G, big data, etc. you can't eat any of these words, but the food industry is going to have to swallow them.

It is almost always more beneficial to jump on board trends than to fight them. A fad is not the same as a trend, a transformation, an evolution,... In just eight months we have digitalised in a way that would otherwise have taken eight years, and in the food sector, tomorrow's consumers will have radically changed their way of thinking, buying and consuming from the consumers of five years ago, and without a doubt they will be radically different from the consumers who are 15 or 20 years old now, and who within JUST TEN YEARS will be totally financially independent consumers. But we need not wait ten years to see what the future will be like, because we can already see what we considered to be the future a short while ago.

Digitalisation and connectivity have guided us toward very different food consumption experiences. And integration in the promotion, purchase and consumption of connectivity is not a fad, it is an irrefutable trend. Better to get on the bandwagon as soon as possible in order to stay competitive.

Eating, feeding, nourishment, etc. are concepts intrinsically linked to the physiology of human beings, but they are also an emotional and sociocultural activity. How do the physical and digital concepts fit together?

Today’s consumers and new generations have internalised these changes naturally. They now eat in a way that prioritises health and physical and mental well-being and they are both conscious of and committed to sustainability and social variables. They value convenience because time is money. These consumers have re-prioritised their set of values, and are on-demand consumers (they choose where and when they want to buy and consume food). They are hyper-informed and connected, they follow recommendations and are recommenders who wants to feel unique and genuine, and are eager for engagement.

Who knows whether it is technology and connectivity that have triggered this movement, or whether technology is the answer and solution to the social movement, but it is a very interesting pattern and trend.

"I am more interested in what I can do with your product and your brand, than in the product itself"

New consumers want connected experiences where the human and digital elements coexist within the same customer journey. We are no longer talking about the digital customer experience, we are talking about the customer experience. Things are not on or off, they are ON-OFF. And this is the goal of a successful strategy.

Phygital consumers, want a marriage between the physiological part of their food consumption, with a digital experience that completes and complements it, which also gives them the three I's they demand: immediacy, interaction and immersion, with technology as the enabler.

  • Immediacy: consumers want availability, agility, now, you come to me rather than I go to you, ease and usability,...
  • Immersion: users are an intrinsic, conscious and active part of the experience,...
  • Interaction: generating a two-way communication, essential for activating the most emotional, interactive and sentimental aspect.

"We do not sell to consumers, we sell to their brains"

In this new scenario, what new opportunities are emerging for the food industry?

Technology, Connectivity and Creativity in phygital food consumption.

Technology and creativity are therefore ways to engage with consumers while they obtain information, shop, consume, and interact with products, brands and companies, which are increasingly seeking CONNECTION and RECURRENCE with their customers and consumers.