It is fitting that the last stop of our everyday freshness journey around the world should take us to France. Of all cultures, France is admired for its cuisine and refined taste. What do the French associate with the concept of freshness?
Freshness in France
It was with great curiosity that we began our exploration of freshness with the French consumers. Almost immediately we saw the specificity of their responses in free association.
Food and beverage references included: a cold bottle of beer on a warm day; crunchy green herbs; mint flavors; Bergamot; Apéritifs to stimulate appetite; ice cream; Mojitos; natural citrus flavors; Tic-tacs and vegetable smoothies.
Personal care references were toothpaste (“Cooling effect, clean feeling”); Light Blue by Dolce and Gabanna (Eau de Partum) “(It reminds of summer time with its notes of citrus fruit / sea);” Skin refreshers and creams.
Freshness imagery included dew on grass, walking on grass and the smell of grass, with associated words “lively & bubbly.” Summer “warmth” was also mentioned along with its ambience. Freshness was often connected with water and its purity to boost the spirit and cause a re-birth each morning. Images included waterfalls and mountain streams. Freshness varied in intensity from low to a burning (fiery) sensation.
What are the colors of freshness? They ranged from white, blue-white and greens to oranges, yellows and reds.
We asked the French panelists to take their initial responses and distill their comments into moods of freshness:
- The mood that your body is going from one feeling to another; from rest to wake.
- The freshness mood created by nature: fresh air, water and green spaces.
- Physical: cold/ice cold awakening, sparkly feelings of being refreshed
- Invigoration mood: Fun, champagne (bubbly), good for your body, pleasure, hedonism.
The Planets of Freshness
Combining the moods of freshness with the responses to freshness, the French consumers we were able to create freshness planets:
- Energy Planet - Invigoration & Vitality; the energy of daily life needed to get through the day. Speed, flashy colors and high energy.
- Zen Planet - Calm & Peaceful, simplicity, steel and gray pebbles, cold and glacial, protection and serenity. Comes from self confidence and inner silence. Pastel and sweet colors, white.
- Fun Freshness Planet- Amusement; playful, like children at play, the unexpected, novelty products, sparkling, textures, visuals and taste; a novelty product; a mixture of colors.
- Clean Freshness Planet – Inner “Medical”/Hygiene; well being and confidence, aseptic, pure, antioxidant; Divine, fixed, eternal; clean, white, hospital-like with a pleasing fragrance. Colors: water white, white, blue.
Sensorial Freshness for the French Consumer
We arrived at two major areas that product developers might want to explore:
Invigoration and Vitality – This area is characterized by vibrating colors such as green, electric blue, gold, silver, yellow, sunny and bright. Crunchy textures and effervescence. The flavors and tastes: Mint + peppery, citrus, Guarana (caffeinated herb), kiwi, spices, Tabasco, hot pepper, orange sanguine, Acai. Flavors need to be strong and immediate.
Fun Freshness – This area is all of the colors of the rainbow. Flavors desired were mint + mango, green and citrus, watermelon and even the more exotic Mastic resin from Turkey. Freshness flavors were complex and unexpected.