Insights

How Leveraging Texture can Differentiate your Products

27 Sep 2021

3 min

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.
 

Child eating cheese

Common Texture Descriptors Include: 

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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

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Middle East
fast-facts-september-230921a-426x414
North America
fast-facts-september-411x415-230921e
Africa
fast-facts-september-230921b-439x449
South & Central America
fast-facts-september-403x409-230921d
Europe
fast-facts-september-230921c-432x442
Asia Pacific

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:

Creamy
Smooth
Sticky
Chewy

Top 4 Beverage Textures Consumers Prefer:

Light
Still
Creamy
Fizzy

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

fast-facts-september-230921-1324x480

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.

Read the rest in NZMP Fast Facts

This article was based on the September edition of NZMP Fast Facts. 

 

 

  • [1] FMCG GURUS: Flavour Colour and Texture Survey 2021
  • [2] Mintel GNPD.

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited and its group members involved in the manufacture or sale of NZMP branded products (‘Fonterra’) has provided this ‘NZMP Fast Facts’ for informational purposes only. It does not constitute recommendations or advice for the purposes of making financial decisions regarding trading in dairy products or commodities, or dealing in financial instruments relating to dairy commodities. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of reproducing and interpreting such information, no warranty or representation of such is made and Fonterra shall have no liability in respect of any reliance placed on such information in the formulation of any business decision.

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