Fletcher Knight, August 30, 2010
by Margaret Kime
Food and beverage brands with provenance in the rural heartland of America will face new, mainstream brand challengers from an unexpected perspective - urban-based brands that are growing in appeal and cache.
The rise of urban brand cache is born out of the positive impact of the urban agricultural movement on the awareness, intrigue and appeal for urban-based foods. The availability of local, fresh ingredients from green belts around cities or high-rise roof tops, the resurgence of appreciation for artisanal techniques and the epicurean energy sparked by urban renewal are elevating urban food experiences to new levels of authenticity and enjoyment.
Urban brands have been inspired by the vibrant food scene where unpretentious urban restaurants regularly serve local, seasonal ingredients combined in fresh ways, and humble outdoor food carts have customers lining up for their artisanal fare. Emerging urban brands are delighting consumers with their high quality, less processed, inspiringly delicious foods, delivered with a refreshing openness about the source of key ingredients, and made with the kind of care and passion that breathes new life into time-honored artisanal methods.
Our research suggests these rich and engaging urban food experiences have distinctive and authentic reference points that are fertile territory for savvy brands to draw from as they cultivate fresh and relevant brand offerings that engage and impress. We are seeing consumers readily embrace brands like Brooklyn Brine hand-packed pickles and Salvatore Bklyn fresh ricotta cheese as a part of their community - bringing new meaning to the phrase 'cultivated city' - and satisfying an ever increasing number of taste buds.
Brands like Del Monte, Rowntree, Campbell's, Cadbury and Ghirardelli that have a rich heritage in this setting are ripe to tap into the rise of urban brand cache.
Product Inspiration: Brooklyn Brine is quickly becoming known for "damn fine pickles" that are hand-packed in Brooklyn, NY and made with organic produce sourced from rooftop gardens and local farms. They've expanded to lavender asparagus, garlic scapes and more.
Product Inspiration: Sipsmith is an artisanal, microdistillery for handmade spirit that uses a unique, copperpot still - the first in London in nearly two centuries. Located on a residential street in West London, these 'sip-smiths' carefully create barley vodka and London dry gin with 'uncompromising quality'.