Our freshness journey around the world takes us to Germany, a culture equally steeped in the arts and a love of nature and natural living. Germany has long been a center of natural eating, product purity and the rigorous testing of foods to insure quality is maintained. Germany’s love of food has influences that are both traditionally European and Slavic.
As an important market to many food and beverage processors, it is necessary to explore the German concept of “freshness” as it applies to flavors.
Freshness in Germany
What are the connections German consumers have with the concept of freshness? Our panelists were asked to divide their freshness thoughts into three areas: Nature, Associations and Times of the Day. In terms of nature, Germans mentioned lakes, mist, fresh fruit, the air following a summer’s rain, fresh cut greens and interestingly – lavender. In terms of associations or feelings, the smell of clean air, morning dew, moisture on the outside of a glass, warm fresh bread, a brief rush of cold on a summer’s day. As for times of the day that evoked freshness: fresh clothes in the morning, brushing teeth, having a refreshing snack or beverage after lunch or a glass of beer after exercise.
The German Freshness Planets
German panelists made many more connections to platforms or “planets” than other consumer groups in other countries. This presents both opportunities and challenges. It allows developers to explore numerous segments and products to the German market. It also mandates consumer testing to insure that key elements of the product story are being embraced. Let us review the planets:
“My Personal Freshness” Planet
Elements on this planet include personal comfort, rest, fragrances that are natural and floral, a personal freedom that stems from feeling fresh; from showering to fresh breath.
“Getting Close” Planet
The freshness feeling coming out of personal hygiene leads to friendship, intimacy and a generally overall positive attitude in terms of social life, entertaining and an overall, better sense of comfort about oneself. This planet allows consumers to get close to others; to travel and explore and in general, to better develop as people.
This very important planet is filled with the imagery, fragrances and flavor impressions of nature. Of all of the planets we identified, this planet had the most input and should be viewed as the most important. Included on this planet is imagery that is connected to water, floral, grass, earthiness and ocean breezes.
Vitality comes to represent how German consumers feel after being refreshed inside and out. Vitality is a place of freedom and contentment, of bright and bold colors, dynamic shapes, designs, friends and happy faces.
Flavors and Colors of Freshness
German consumers associated a broad range of colors with freshness including gray-blues, blues, light greens and earth colors. The vitality emotions we mentioned extend into reds, maroon, burgundy and yellow. As feelings of freshness go from personal to vibrant, colors go from soft and pastel to loud. Flavors cover a wide range and reflect colors; from herbal/green tea, ginger and pineapple, mint and spearmint, through to citrus and fruity.