Twist it, Freeze it, Roast it, Toast it
The future of food brands is in the hands of creators. Last year, we saw the rise of Es Kepal Milo from Malaysia, Indomie Donat from Australia, and Beer Ramen from New York. These mega food trends were indicators of what food brands need to understand about the evolving relationship that Indonesians share with food.
The biggest restaurants and top chefs are no longer the only sources of food trends in big cities such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bandung. Food bloggers, YouTube creators and Instagrammers are also shaping the food trends in Indonesia. Sometimes this is the result of embracing heritage culinary spices and giving them a global twist. Other times, by playing the role of discoverers and amplifiers, they introduce Indonesia to new tastes.
It is imperative that food brands enable people to be creative with their products. For example, last year, Roti Unyil, Roti Kukus and Roti Jhon each expanded to the top 10 cities across Indonesia using the popularity of their Kit Kat, Toblerone and Cheese variants. A strategic tie-up could help the right food brand tap into the hype.
In order to be prepared for such moments, food brands must:
- Be attentive to food trends and identify them as they start to grow.
- Have a dynamic structure that allows them to be agile.
- Be ready to hand over some creative control to others and be open to form short-term collaborations that can help tap into growing trends.