Regional trend in food – becoming a local hero (everywhere) with the right design
Products from the region are becoming increasingly popular. There are several reasons for this trend, which can be attributed in particular to the crises we have been facing for several years. As a result of the external circumstances, a change in thinking has taken place among consumers, so that they are now increasingly inclined to put regional fruit and vegetables, as well as milk and eggs from local farms, in their shopping carts. For brands, this development is a great opportunity – but you have to know how to seize it, and sometimes that’s not so easy.
This is why regional foods are gaining in popularity
It is not least the climate and environmental crises, the Corona pandemic and now also the war in Ukraine that have brought to light a new sense of responsibility among many people. Some people are now very aware that they can have an influence with their behavior – both positive and negative. Of course, this also applies to consumption; after all, we are still a consumer society.
The popularity of regional foods can essentially be broken down to four points:
1. climate and environmental protection.
The shorter the supply chains, the lower the CO2 emissions that are harmful to the climate and the environment.
With regional foods, it is possible to obtain detailed information about how the respective products are produced – under which conditions, with which processes and machines, etc. – without a great deal of effort.
3. support of the local economy
Buying regional food helps smaller businesses in their often ongoing struggle for existence and thus strengthens the local (agricultural) economy.
4. food freshness and fullness of taste
If fruits and vegetables do not have to travel thousands of miles after harvesting, but only a stone’s throw, so to speak, before they land on the supermarket shelf, they are logically significantly fresher. This not only results in a fuller flavor, but also preserves the nutrients and vital substances better.
All of these points are important to the modern consumer. He attaches great importance to
– doing their part to protect the climate and the environment,
– to know exactly what they are eating,
– helping the local economy, and
– to enjoy food more intensively thanks to its increased freshness, and at the same time to do something good for their own health.
Profiting from the regional trend as a company
Of course, the regional trend has not escaped the attention of the large supermarket chains – in other words, the quantity of domestic, and in some cases even local, products in supermarkets has recently increased sharply. This will probably not change anytime soon.
Now, at first glance, it seems as if this development is excellent for regional businesses, but unfavorable, to say the least, for multinational to globally active brands. A closer look, however, reveals that neither is quite right, and that once again we have to think outside the box. If you do that, it quickly becomes clear that the regional trend offers enormous potential for success for both small and large companies, but it also represents a challenge. Specifically, it is a matter of communicating one’s own regionality authentically, invitingly and clearly.
For small businesses that manufacture their products solely for the local, regional or, at most, national market, it is crucial to place this deep connection to the homeland in the foreground – also in product and packaging design. It is elementary to know the market in which one wants to establish and assert oneself with regional products. This is the only way to create an overall product that will bring lasting success.
Larger brands that on the one hand want to join the regional trend, but on the other hand do not want to lose their status as an internationally active company, have the task of creating a communication channel that clearly states this two-sided approach. The consumer should be able to clearly recognize: “The company operates all over the world, but also focuses on regionality.”
Focus on the regional in design
Given the regional trend in food, which is pretty much here to stay, it would be a wasted opportunity not to jump on the bandwagon yourself. This means that every company would do well to “pitch” the regionality of its own products or certain ingredients in its food products – for example, through visuals and icons on its packaging, but also extensively in its own brand’s external communications.
One thing must always be kept in mind: Yes, regionality is trendy worldwide – yet there are differences from country to country and sometimes even from region to region in terms of how the local market works and what really appeals to local consumers. Thus, a differentiated strategy is needed to get the most out of the regional philosophy.
Thanks to our global network, we have insights from numerous countries and can help you develop a suitable regional design and communication concept for each market. This saves you the time- and cost-intensive engagement of several local design and branding agencies.