In Ernest Cline’s sci-fi novel, “Ready Player One,” a dystopian world post energy crisis results in humans existing in a virtual reality game called OASIS. The main character, Wade Watts, wondered if it was possible for humans to live meaningful lives wearing only a headset and staring into a screen each day:
“It’s a new way of life. People stay connected to it for the majority of a day sometimes. Does such a massive time investment make something ‘real?’ If people are spending most of their time there, doesn’t that make it almost more real than the real world?”
Today, meeting consumers’ demands on the digital shelf involves creatively translating our senses from the screen to reality. The quote above is a chilling reminder that our senses are invaluable in enhancing our experience on Earth.
The beauty of the F&F industry is its ability to enhance our daily lives by delighting our senses IRL (in real life). This issue we take a look at how the industry is developing a more personalized experience for consumers who are looking for trustworthy products that engage their senses to ultimately lead healthy, pleasurable and convenient lives.
The middle of the grocery aisle is seeing a shift with the introduction of plant-based packaged products (page 20) to cater towards a growing flexitarian lifestyle. In fact, Mintel’s Global New Products Database reports a 257% and 25% increase in vegan and vegetarian claims in global food and drink launches, respectively.
In the lab, improving delivery systems for longer-lasting and stable fragrances (page 42) is evolving along with conscious consumerisms’ desire to use products that reduce waste, energy and water consumption.
Unlike a virtual reality world, visualizing F&F products on the digital shelf is just a step towards ultimately enhancing our experience in reality. I hope you enjoy this issue.
With warmth from New York City,