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Consumers And Their Relationship With Food

Food is a hot topic in today’s world. The consumer demand landscape has massively changed and the awareness of food among customers has increased substantially over time. Customers are more knowledgeable about what they expect from their food - buying, preparing, and consuming. The saying, ‘you are what you eat’ is truer now more than ever. In other words, customers are developing a new relationship with food but what does this mean for food brands, manufacturers, and retailers? Consequently, it is imperative for them to unpack the emotional connection consumers now have with their food.

Brands, these days, understand that decoding what the consumer wants is a foundational part of marketing and innovation. Now, product marketers are required to focus on consumers’ emotional needs in addition to their functional wants. Studies claim that companies gain a better hold of the market by developing an emotional connection with consumers, thereby, increasing profitability and developing an edge in the competition.

The emotional connection with food can be summarized with the following food motivations:

Personal Pleasure

The most obvious and understood factor to drive consumers’ food choices is the emotional pleasure a person derives through food. The desire for over-the-top food that appeals to the consumers is a well-worn idea. Sometimes people just want to forget the idea of a diet and give into delicious pleasures.


With the onset of the pandemic, consumers have become health conscious and hence, want to make better & healthy food choices. Nutritious eating has reached a tipping point and gone mainstream. As a result of various cultures, people have faced the consequences of a poor diet and are determined to do better. Although people don’t want to settle for cardboard taste but are looking for food that makes them feel good about their bodies.


Food acts as an important bonding agent. As people say, food brings people together and creates shared experiences. Consumers tend to share and remember great stories while they gather around food. From first dates and anniversaries to backyard BBQ and celebrations, food is a driving force in building community and togetherness.


Many say ‘food defines us’ - in the same way, clothes people wear and the cars they drive. Consumers want to define themselves by their food choices and decide how people view them. There are a variety of food choices available like upscale, downscale, global, local, and many more.


Tarun Wadhera loves to read food reviews and explore hidden, off-beat restaurants all around the city. After work, you can find Tarun trying out craft beers and understanding how to distinguish pure, authentic caviar from all the scams and fakes out there.