rheingold’s hypotheses on current nutritional trends:
1. People’s eating behavior continues to be de-rhythmized.
Fixed, ritualized meals are becoming less and less prevalent. Food is increasingly consumed ‘in passing’ and therefore has to fit better in leisure and work contexts. This is connected with three general consequences from a psychological point of view.
a) Miniaturization of food and beverages
Consumers want them to be small, simple, and transportable, and thus able to be used at any time.
b) Trivialization of food and beverages so that they can be consumed in passing.
That means: only a slight taste, light and digestible, rather than an orgy for the senses.
c) Aestheticization of food and beverages
They have to be visually appealing and presentable at any time, and should not look like food.
2. In light of the de-rhythmization food and drinks are taking over more and more psychical functions.Three food and drink types are promising for the future:
a) Food and beverages as situational remedy
Snack products in particular, but also drinks and spirits, are supposed to put users in a certain mood, to induce a certain mental state.
b) Food and drinks as constant accompaniment
Mineral water in particular, preferably un-carbonated, has become a talisman that people have with them at all times and use around the clock.
c) Food and beverages as a means of self-portrayal
Observable above all in young people. They engage in a subtle kind of consumption anarchy. Young people seek new forms of expression in food and drinks. As a result, they avoid traditional German products such as beer, coffee, and sparkling wine and use specialties with an international flair:
Prosecco, Latte Macchiato or Corretti instead of coffee, and Rigo or Smirnoff Ice rather than beer. The flair, the profiling possibility, the manufacturing method, and consumption habits are important here.
3. Regarding conventional meals: an increasing desire for easier choices and orientation along the lines of a menu plan and convenient preparation.
4. Food scandals only lead to short-term changes in nutritional behavior. People occasionally look for scapegoats to calm their bad conscience about what they eat.
5. Purchase behavior continues to be split.
Consumers buy basic stables at discount supermarkets, while demonstrably shopping for fresh products at health-food stores.
6. The psychological coherence and competence profile of many classical food and drink brands has become weaker due to the fact these brands have been split up into countless line extenders and product variants. Moreover, own labels are putting the squeeze on them, as some consumers find dealer’s brands simpler, more basic, and more in keeping with everyday life. And they are also being attacked by special international brands, which appear more focused, more special, and to have a more distinct image.