Monday, September 25, 2023

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Flavour/Ingredient and Mood Synergy: Driving Consumer Engagement

The intersection of food and emotion is a powerful aspect of human behaviour, influencing our cravings and tastes in profound ways. Science has long recognised that the food we consume can have an impact on our emotional well-being. Certain foods have been found to trigger the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with feelings of happiness and pleasure.

In India, Pizza Hut has taken a plunge into the realm of emotions, introducing a range of 10 new pizza variants designed to cater to consumers’ ever-changing moods in their ‘Mood Badle, Pizza Badle’ campaign. The launch featured a series of short ad films starring local celebrities Saif Ali Khan and Shehnaaz Gill to bring the campaign to life.

Understanding the connection between food and mood

Pizza Hut’s latest initiative centres on the profound interplay between our emotional states and culinary preferences. By acknowledging this dynamic relationship, the brand seeks to connect with consumers on a deeper level. The new range, available across all 800 outlets in India, caters to local tastes, embracing familiar and comforting flavours like Murgh Makhani and Paneer and offering adventurous choices like Mexican Fiesta. This culinary diversity recognises the role of food as a comforting companion during challenging times and a source of celebration during happier moments. This notion was also explored in the Mintel Trend Mood to Order, underscoring the growing consumer interest in managing emotional well-being through food.

Tailoring to regional tastes

In a country as culturally diverse as India, the variation in taste preferences is evident every few hundred kilometres. Mintel Global Consumer research shows that over half of Indian consumers gravitate toward flavours that evoke cherished childhood memories, while 44% delight in exploring tastes inspired by global cuisines.  

Acknowledging the significance of local cultures, spice tolerances, and dietary habits, brands can create an enhanced dining experience that grants consumers control, satisfaction, and creativity. Aligning offerings with individual preferences, moods, and specific occasions fosters a stronger brand-consumer connection and increases brand loyalty. 

Innovations in mood-driven industries

In line with the trend of mood-based products, various industries have capitalised on the connection between emotions and consumer choices. Some brands have ventured into mood-boosting, gender-neutral bodycare products, and nootropic-infused beverages aimed at enhancing cognitive performance.

The Isle of Paradise body care collection is said to contain sensorial textures and mood-boosting scents designed to invigorate the mind and body (UK). Source: Instagram
Savvy’s nootropic products include double shot pods which claim to contain 13 science-backed ingredients to enhance focus, improve mood and provide ‘long-lasting mental energy’ (Australia). Source: Facebook

In addition, another brand has creatively partnered with a mental health organisation to support a worthy cause while connecting with consumers on a deeper emotional level.

Volley launched a limited-edition mullet shoe in collaboration with Black Dog Institute to raise money for mental health. Source: Volley website

What we think

Pizza Hut India’s launch of its mood-driven menu is a testament to the profound connection between food and emotions. The diverse range of ‘glocalised’ flavours attests to the brand’s commitment to catering to the evolving tastes of Indian consumers. By acknowledging the impact of local influences and emotional states, food service brands can embark on a journey to create a more personalised dining experience. For consumers, this means that the next time their mood shifts, food will transcend the mere satisfaction of cravings—it will become a source of comfort, celebration, and emotional fulfilment. 

For deeper insights into the Indian food and drink consumer market, check out the Mintel Store. Discover the latest research to make informed decisions to grow your business today.

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