Rabobank identifies a range of strategies and tactics that will allow nimble food processors, food retailers and food service companies to benefit from the rise of the hybrid consumer.

These include:

• Move up to the premium segment of a specific product category, for example, by offering healthier alternatives, using more natural ingredients, and incorporating corporate social responsibility as well as sustainable business practices. The French spirits company Pernod Ricard is an example of a company that has been successful in ‘premiumizing’ its product offering.

• Offer ‘value’ products within the premium segment and ‘premium’ products within the value segment.  By doing so, retailers can cater to consumers who have become more cost-conscious due to waning consumer confidence and purchasing power.  UK retailer Waitrose offers bakery products under a premium private label, thus enabling increasingly cost-conscious customers to continue shopping at their favorite high-end supermarket but at a lower cost.

• Use value products to sell premium products. Supermarkets and food service outlets can use this strategy to attract customers with value-for-money propositions, while simultaneously aiming to sell premium, more expensive products to these same customers. A well known UK-based retail food chain, for instance, offers coffee to-go at relatively low price points to generate traffic and simultaneously aims to sell higher priced food products, such as premium sandwiches.


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