How Leveraging Texture can Differentiate your Products
27 Sep 2021
Texture plays a significant role in how consumers experience the foods and beverages they consume.
'Mouth-feel' is the term often used to describe how the texture of a foods or beverages can influence the consumption experience. It is not uncommon to hear people complain that they do not like a certain food because they 'don't like the texture'.
Mouthfeel refers to the physical sensations in the mouth caused by food or drink, as distinct from taste.
Like taste, texture plays an extremly important role as all five senses work together to create the overall consumption experience. However, whilst taste is often leveraged as a key claim, very few brands actually promote texture as a way to stand out from the crowd.
Research shows us that regardless of geography, texture influences consumers' choice of food and beverage.
FMCG GURUS conducted a Flavour, Colour and Texture Survey in 2021 that found that across six major regions, the majority of conusmers say texture is influential or very influential in how they select the food and drink they consume.
Below: Percentage of consumers who say texture is influential/very influential in choice of foods and drinks products.1
South & Central America
There is a wide range of textures you can explore, and consumers want to experience a variety in their diets.
This gives brands plenty of opportunity to play around with textures to cater to the range of needs that consumers have. It is also worth noting that plenty of texture preferences appear to be quite universal, allowing lift and shift opportunities from market to market.
The same FMCG GURU survey also asked consumers over six key regions to rank their preferred textures in both food and drink categories (see charts below).
Top 4 Food Textures Consumers Prefer:
Top 4 Beverage Textures Consumers Prefer:
And whilst it is clear there are stand out favourites in each application, it is also important to remember that breaking into unchartered texture terriority is often effective way to capture market attention and premium price brackets.
44% of consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for food and drink products with unusual textures.
FMCG GURUS: Flavour Colour and Texture Survey 2021
Brands can tap into consumer desire for experimentation to offer ‘new experiences’ not just with taste, but also with texture. There are many reasons why consumers enjoy unusual textures, from excitement and adventure, to breaking up the same routine.
Below: Reasons why global consumer groups indicate they enjoy unusual textures.1
However, despite its importance in food and drink consumption, texture information is not used enough to entice consumers. To date, only around 1 in 4 food and drink products have texture claims on pack.
Of those few brands calling out texture on pack, the vast majority are in the food category. As a result, the beverage category is falling behind on texture promotion2. Drinks manufacturers should consider and explore the opportunity to use texture more to engage and entice their target consumers.
-  FMCG GURUS: Flavour Colour and Texture Survey 2021
-  Mintel GNPD.
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