LAS VEGAS — The food industry should know how to appeal to consumers in a “stall” period, said Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides, Inc.
“We’re not in a recession, and we’re also not in a recovery,” she said in an Oct. 17 presentation at SupplySide West in Las Vegas.
The economy is fine, but people are behaving like they are in a recession, she said, calling it a “stall.” An uncertain political situation, mass shootings and hurricanes are some of the issues causing anxiety.
“There’s a whole number of things that caused the stall,” Ms. Badaracco said.
Wanting to feel safe, consumers are drawn to familiar feelings, like eating macaroni and cheese. People are forming clans and heading to restaurants to share appetizers. They seek local and regional food and ingredients.
“It calms them down,” Ms. Badaracco said.
Since their anxiety is not caused by their financial situations, people still will pay more for food items promoted for sustainability benefits like organic, fair trade and local, she said.
The stall is even affecting how people view food colors. Primary colors like red, blue and green sell well in an economic recovery but not in a stall, Ms. Badaracco said. Softer versions of color do well instead. She gave examples of coastal blues, natural yellows (but not “shocking” yellows) and charcoal greys.