Suzy Badaracco, founder of Culinary Tides Inc. explains how pattern analysis, a technique used in military intelligence can help understand the birth, lifecycle and trajectory of protein trends.
Could you explain how your company uses military intelligence and chaos analytics to predict trends?
“Our team looks for patterns in chaos to help companies prepare their business strategies. We specialise in foretelling a trend’s birth and forecasting its trajectory, personality and longevity. Our forecast results are used to create entrance, navigation and exit strategies.
For the birth of a trend to occur you must have two elements: a Champion but also a link to other existing trends for this Champion to stay in power. On the other end we also look for patterns in the death of trends. These can come from either research or technology opposite to the trend, a countering trend or a powerful adversary.
Using a unique compilation of military intelligence and chaos analytics, we forecast and profile trends affecting the food industry including food and beverage, consumer, health, government, technology, packaging, adversary, ally and competitors.
When business models can only handle one question at a time, chaos models inspired by military intelligence and chaos analytics are designed to handle dozens or hundreds of unique inputs. Using only one study or event to forecast a company strategy would be a recipe for disaster.”
Protein continues to be one of the dominating trends for the Food & Beverages industry. What are the key drivers behind this growth?
“First, you must understand its birth pattern. The parent of the protein trend is the diet industry, not the food industry. This birth pattern is called a courier birth: when an outside influence shuttles a trend into the food industry. This outside influence comes from consumers. And among consumers’ drives is the belief that a high protein diet is somehow healthier or will be a path to weight loss.
It also links into other trends that increase the longevity of the protein trend. This includes vegetable proteins, flexitarian interests, worries about obesity and the need to have control over your life during a conflicted time in our country and abroad.”
How has the trend evolved over the last few years? And how do you see it evolving in the next 3-5 years?
“The protein trend is part of a Morph pattern. This happens when related trends act as cousins to each other. The trick is to know which cousin is in the spotlight now.
It began in 2004 with the Atkins diet and progressed through the low GI diet, gluten free, Paleo, Grain Brain, Wheat Belly and Keto to name a few. These diets all have one thing in common: they vilify foods that are carbohydrate-based. The path forward for a Morph is to create more high protein diets. These will be sustained until consumers maintain their belief that protein is good, and carbohydrates are bad.”
How can companies engage with the plant protein trend and make it profitable?
“The best ways for companies to engage are fourfold. First, they need to create nutritionally balanced products. They also need to make sure you are matching the proteins to the correct global cuisine. A mismatch will confuse consumers. Thirdly, if as a manufacturer you are tempted to create plant forward items, create a family of items for the consumer to choose from to show your commitment. And finally, don’t forget to stick to what you do best.”
What are your predictions for the F&B industry in the next 3-5 years?
“This is a great question but too wide to answer. What I would hope for the industry going forward is that manufacturers research the driver behind a trend before deciding to enter the market. This way they can foretell its path and be able to strategize effectively for their brands.”