Elena Ozeritskaya is the founder and managing director of Fresh Insight. Her mission is to help fresh food companies develop and launch meaningful products and brands for consumers.
"I am always intrigued about 'why' consumers behave in a certain way and how food brands and products can benefit from that," Elena explains. Following that inspiration, Elena has created a successful business that facilitates companies in category vision development, go-to-market strategies, concept development, consumer co-creation, and flavor storytelling.
Insight, Strategy & Design agency in Food:
Fresh Insight believes that food brands and innovations should be designed around consumer insights and trends to bring value and purpose to the consumer level.
Elena designs and holds keynote speeches and workshop sessions for corporate and industry events. Recently she has hosted two inspiring sessions in South Africa and Brazil at the annual IFPA Conference.
Elena speaking at IFPA's Brazil Conference: diving into robotics and other future food trends
Hello New World
"My work evolves around finding out what the consumer wants, needs, and expects from our industry. Around how successful organizations and innovators are meeting challenges and making profits, and what to expect in the future as consumer expectations continue to evolve," introduces Elena.
There are larger societal trends that are affecting the fresh produce industry. Generational trends, wokeness, freedom and flexibility in work and life, uncertainty due to war, pandemic, energy crisis, and inflation, and the search for green and sustainable solutions are creating a New World we need to understand and embrace.
Insights into generations, drivers, and consumer trends impacting produce consumption
Elena continues: "The food industry is impacted by different generations and the deconstructions we have. For example, the number of people who do not eat meat is growing, which is a big opportunity for our industry. During the pandemic, people began to seek more freedom and comfort. We saw a shift to a larger search for locally produced foods, and the reduction of plastic packaging reflects concerns with sustainability. Consumers are also seeking a narrative about the product, seeking to find unique flavors, textures, and aromas.
"To attract new generations, we need to combine health with convenience. The pandemic has made retail promote healthy consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and point out recommended amounts of fruit and vegetable consumption. Increased interaction, as our lives happen on the internet, and customization also have a great impact. Finally, to be up to date, it is important to develop a category view, a factor that encompasses all these previous points."
It all starts with good storytelling
"The advantage that fresh produce has is that our industry produces its own products and therefore has credibility. Surveys have shown that consumers trust producers over retailers jiggling with many companies and brands. Therefore, storytelling is important. There is an opportunity to show more about our company and product. Show that we understand the consumer in offering attractive branding and stories. Storytelling is where it all starts."
A category vision concerns a mid- to long-term view of a product category and how this can be developed. Tomatoes, for example, are segmented by use: cooking, salad making, snacking. A next step can be segmentation by flavor. Elena explains: "a category view can be helpful to boost new trends and find new ways for consumers to use produce. For example, citrus is currently not segmented by usage, but this could be done, which would lead to the creation of new concepts, for example, citrus water infusions or other ways to use and consumer citrus."
"There is a world of opportunity in listening and watching how consumers use produce and make use of these ways in the development of cooking kits or other creative products: 'I create and therefore I would buy.' For example, TikTok boosted a berry and coconut water craze. An excellent example of a combination of different fruits that could be sold combined as a new product to tap into this trend. Consumers are creatively creating new dishes and exploring new ways to use produce in cooking. Great inspiration for marketers and product designers can be found on social media, observing and learning from the consumer."
How to flourish in uncertain times
Pricing and value-for-money will be key items in the coming period shaped by high inflation and energy uncertainty. Elena concludes: "Value-for-money items will be in demand, as are affordable luxury items. An example of affordable luxury and how the market has reacted to inflation is shrinkflation. There is also an opportunity for private labels and for retailers to position themselves with affordable yet quality products."
Elena Ozeritskaya designs and holds keynote speeches and workshop sessions on consumer trends in Food. For more information: