Providing flavor solutions that meet the needs of an evolving consumer base will be key to McCormick meeting its sales goal. Across the general population, the demand for flavor has grown 10 points since 2007, and that is accelerating among millennials, said Brendan F. Foley, president of McCormick’s global consumer business and North America.
|Brendan Foley, president of McCormick's global consumer business and North America|
“Going just a little deeper on millennials,” he said. “Our business is particularly well suited to meet their demands in other ways. With 64 percent saying they love to cook, millennials have a great desire to make ordinary dishes extraordinary or epic, as they might call it. In this context, spice blends are considered superheroes within the kitchen, especially to new cooks. They also have a strong interest in global cuisine, with 32 percent preparing ethnic dishes for dinner. Our brands like Thai Kitchen, Zatarain’s, Simply Asia and Lawry’s make this very approachable.
“Our category indexes well with this generation, and studies of brand attitude, household penetration and share of purchases are all positive and on par with other generations. McCormick is already well aligned as millennials make up one-third of mccormick.com traffic. McCormick also has a leading share with this generation, and 80 percent of them view McCormick spices as the best or one of them.”
A major initiative under way at the company involves renovating its core products with an eye toward anticipating consumer demands and being transparent.
“ … By the end of the fourth quarter, 73 percent of our gourmet units sold were organic and we expanded shelf space with 4 of our top 10 retailers,” Foley said. “This initiative also enabled us to win new distribution to come in 2017.
“Our latest renovation includes all-natural extracts, which were converted from imitation; and all-natural food color. We’re also excited to announce the launch of BPA-free packaging for McCormick Black Pepper and Old Bay and have a companywide goal for all of our packaging to be BPA-free by the end of 2017.”
Innovation to be introduced during 2017 includes “mini” and “super deal” package sizes. New McCormick Organic Minis will be a smaller package that reduces the barrier for consumers to try, Foley said. He added that McCormick is in the process of test marketing smaller sachets of individual herbs and spices that include recipe instructions for such specifically flavored meals.
“For those heavy users, we are launching a new super deal format that offers better value and includes 21 SKUs (stock-keeping units) and five new flavors,” he said.