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The MSLGroup is out with its annual list of top food trends for the coming year, suggesting that technology will continue to play a growing role in how people acquire and consume food. "Food delivery and meal kit services will continue to change our food ways…and yet continue to face profitability questions," the report says. "In 2017, SmartLabel technology will also allow us to know practically anything about the foods we eat and drink. The resulting 'extreme transparency' will challenge foodmakers, delight some consumers and overwhelm others."

At the same time, the report says, food will continue to emerge "as the leading topic of conversation on social platforms, food bloggers have become powerful social influencers with four times the following of other bloggers. That's only natural – food is a common interest with endless variety and frequent consumption. Food attracts clicks in huge numbers. That's why in 2017, every consumer brand manager will be asking: How can we use food to start a conversation about our brand?"

And part of that conversation will mean crafting a compelling and resonant story: "Marketers will be going all out to rapidly craft and evolve food and beverage products to win raves and thereby consumption. Products debuting to bad reviews may be withdrawn as quickly as a panned Broadway show. Online food shopping will continue to thrive, in part because the reviews are baked in."
KC's View:
MNB readers won't be surprised to know that Michael Sansolo and I are big believers in the storytelling aspect of retailing. It is about the stories that marketers tell to consumers and, maybe even more important, the stories that consumers tell to each other.