Could the rise of technology be the end for brand loyalty?

As a food and drink PR agency we know that the rapid growth in technology has changed the landscape of the UK grocery market significantly.

food and drink PR agencySince the introduction of online grocery shopping, nearly half (48%) of the UK are online grocery shoppers and the market is predicted to be worth £15 billion by 2020.

This rapid growth highlights how brands and retailers have been able to effectively tap into this platform and also shows how consumers are willing to embrace technology.

But is the internet just the start of technology significantly influencing our buying patterns?

Well, with generation Z (aged 5-20) being the first generation to grow up in a world not knowing life without the internet, the easy answer would be to say, yes.

We have already begun to see major businesses and brands launch products and features that take online shopping one step further.

Internet superpower, Amazon has launched its Echo device which enables users to ask it for information, music, news and weather. The voice recognition device is essentially a personal assistant that can help with day-to-day activities, such as playing music, setting reminders and ordering taxis. Companies such as Sky Sports and National Rail have launched services on the device, with celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, also offering keen cooks an array of recipes.

A key feature of the Echo is to aide its users. The new partnership between Amazon’s Echo and Jamie Oliver will allow users to serve up over 160 recipes based on what ingredients they have in their cupboards. The idea is to encourage “new and exciting ways to connect people to the joy of food.”

Drinks brand, Malibu, has also got in on the action by launching an Internet of Things-enabled cup that will enable people to order a drink in a bar or club without the need for queuing.

The whole idea of products like these is to connect devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other. This can allow brands to effectively cut out the middle-man and directly communicate with their customers. So why is this important?

A recent survey undertaken showed that generation Z have less brand loyalty than millennials. It highlighted that 81% were willing to change from their favourite brand if they found a similar product that was less expensive or higher quality.

And as time goes by, generation Z will become increasingly more influential and behave differently to previous generations and it’ll interesting to see if these perceptions of brands continue. One thing is for certain, if it does, food brands will have to ensure they remain relevant and desirable in order to stay on top.

As a specialist food and drink PR agency it’ll be interesting to see how food businesses, small and large, react and look to embrace these new channels in order to tap in to this increasingly powerful buying group.

Pelican Communications are specialists in the environmentfood and drinkoutdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people developmentContact us for marketing and communications expertise.