Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Consumer Insights & Analytics team hosts Trends Summit

To give examples of macro tends identified by the consumer
 insights & analytics team, employees hosted an "experience fair"
that featured real products from manufacturers.
Oct. 2, 2018 — At Schwan’s Company, our passion is food. That passion comes through with the quality and thoughtful detail that is put into each product. Everything from the flavor, aroma and texture of the product to the packaging structure and graphics are created to serve what consumers want.
To continue our commitment to delivering quality foods and inspire a consumer driven product pipeline, our Consumer Insights & Analytics (CI&A) team hosted a Trends Summit earlier this year. The special event brought more than 100 employees from cross-functional teams together and featured presentations from external industry experts, an “Experience Fair” and a panel discussion with consumers.

“Our goal in creating the Trends Summit was to bring the outside world in and help our Schwan’s team members to think like our consumers,” said Diane Harper, vice president of consumer insights & analytics. “We wanted to inspire new thinking, illuminate new learning and share ideas for how Schwan’s can grow by meeting the needs of consumers.”

This was the first time the CI&A team has brought in multiple industry experts on a single day to provide a multi-faceted view of macro trends, while also dedicating time for employees to experience the trends through immersion activities and hear from actual customers.

Feedback from team members was overwhelmingly positive and many said they appreciated having access to industry experts. Additionally,  the design of the Trends Summit “Experience Fair,” which included displays, videos and food samples, allowed team members to see how trends are reflected in today’s marketplace.

Trends Summit presentations and activities

Special presentations at the Trends Summit included:

  • Darren Seifer from The NPD Group presented the latest “Eating Patterns in America,” an annual study that has been conducted over the past three decades.
  • Jennifer Goodrich from The Hartman Group talked through mealtime in America, where she discussed the trials and tribulations of figuring out what’s for dinner and the components of the ideal meal.
  • Mary McIlrath from Youthbeat discussed the unique qualities of millennials as parents and how youth — and millennial’s kids in particular — are shaping the world ahead.
  • Giselle Restrepo, from the CI&A team presented five macro trends for employees to consider as they build their innovation pipeline. To bring the trends to life, examples of the trends present in today’s marketplace were featured at the “Experience Fair,” which featured products from other food manufacturers.
  • Giselle also facilitated a panel discussion featuring mothers with children currently living at home. Discussion topics included the panelists’ experiences and rituals of mealtime in their homes as well as attitudes and preferences for grocery shopping.

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