Digital technologies are shaping consumer demand as well as competition on the market for consumer goods in a fundamentally new way. Therefore, trade and industry are facing considerable challenges. Markant has always been regarded as a reliable partner, which supports the companies belonging to the Group with corresponding services that are effective and practical with regard to competition – such as the 115th. Markant Trade Forum. From the 3rd until the 4th of April 2019, the industry platform focused on new business ideas and innovative product concepts.
Quality beats quantity
Against the backdrop of a highly competitive FMCG market, Dr Marc Knuff, Global Director Retail at GfK, turned the spotlight on the "The fragmentation of the FMCG market and the new fight over consumers, shoppers and shelf space." One of this theses: "Innovation creates decisive competitive advantages." Furthermore, the volume of new introductions and new product variants drives market penetration. However: quality beats quantity. This means that only products that encourage loyalty among consumers survive permanently on the market. Therefore, a portfolio update indicating consumer requirements and current consumer trends is urgently required.
To that end, the innovation forum provided some approaches. Mars unveiled the "Airwaves Caffeine Chewing Gum" innovation. With a new product benefit, the branded company is seeking to win over new users. Lotao demonstrated that with the "Jackfruit Burger Patty Bratlinge", you can turn the classic burger into a vegan delicacy. Moreover, with "Honest Bio Tea" and the still "Bio Honest Lemonade", Coca-Cola has seized upon the consumer trends of naturalness and well-being. And right on cue for its 50th anniversary, Capri-Sun has extended its assortments to include a "Real revolution": Capri-Sun & Bubbles – carbonated and in a slim 330-mm can.
However, innovative packaging can also create fresh incentives at the point of sale. With the "Jägermeister COOLPACK", the herb liqueur is now available in light and practical plastic packaging in addition to the traditional green and angular glass bottle. The new version can be taken to various outdoor activities where glass bottles are not allowed. At the same time, the traditional Jägermeister green has been retained, but the shape and format are based on the cooling pack design. No fewer than 292 exhibitors, including 38 new suppliers and 21 start-up companies, introduced themselves at the Trade Forum and unveiled a wide range of products and innovations that reflect current food trends.
Innovative start-up scene
Over the past few years, interest in the start-up industry has been growing constantly. Markant picked up on this development and, for the first time, installed a start-up arena at the Trade Forum. 21 entrepreneurs took the opportunity to introduce their innovative business ideas to a broader public. They all agreed that a personal story, a special need that has not hitherto been satisfied, was the defining aspect of the creation. "People want to buy stories and emotions", stated Frank Thelen succinctly in his specialist talk. The CEO of Freigeist Capital discovered his passion for start-ups on the Vox show "The Lion's Den". The initial investment was in the Little Lunch soup company in 2015. According to Mr Thelen, innovation capability and authenticity are indicative of start-ups. In addition, the digital economy represents the most important foundation environment for start-ups and the clear influence of AI (Artificial Intelligence) on business models can already be seen. "Start-ups bring new approaches and a new dynamic onto the market", said the technical investor in summing up. A potential that should be realised. "Top-quality start-ups suit your brand", the investor informed his audience. He also warned them against leaving the field open for Google and Amazon. He stated that "Authentic brands are becoming more important every day".