Spotting food trends & pre-testing communication campaigns for VLAM

VLAM is Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board which promotes sales, consumption and image of products originating from the Flemish agriculture, horticulture, fishery and agro-alimentary sector, both in Belgium and abroad.
Since early 2013, InSites Consulting has been running a structural Consumer Consulting Board (also known as an ongoing research community) for VLAM. The main goal was to get to know the why of current buying and consumption behavior in order to discover market needs and insights, taking into account upcoming trends.

What did we do?

The past two years, VLAM had a constant finger on the pulse among 100 Flemish consumers via a structural research community. After a 3-week deep-dive to discover trends and general perceptions and attitudes, the community had alternative waves of deep-dives and instant cycles, creating the optimal balance between developing a deep understanding of a certain topic and having consumer feedback 24/7 at their fingertips. The community was also used to test upcoming communication campaigns and media-related elements. Since 2015, VLAM has added 30 more innovative consumers to tap even more into upcoming food trends and trends in local/regional products.
VLAM Marktmaker community

The results

VLAM got more insights into consumer and food trends because of a yearly trends report InSites Consulting made based on a first 3-week deep-dive. Given the fact that VLAM deals with many product categories (e.g., meat, fish, fruits & vegetables, dairy & eggs, potatoes, organic, horticulture etc.), each of these were part of a deep-dive topic or a 48h challenge at several occasions. This resulted in a clear view on the Flemish consumers’ buying habits, knowledge, perception and attitude towards local versus international products and in consumer-co-created communication campaigns which fit better with those end consumers.

How did the client experience it?

“The ongoing online research community, supported by this customer-driven InSites Consulting team, is a versatile platform which allows us to answer a wide variety of research questions.”
Kris Michiels, Marketing Advisor at VLAM