The Hartman Group is launching the first in a series of one-day learning experiences for food and beverage industry insiders who want to know more about how culture affects consumers' choices.
"It's a fun way for food and beverage companies to take an anthropological look at consumers – something that can inform everything from branding to product development," says Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group.
The one-day course, called "Evolving Culture of Food & Beverage," will be held at the Catalyst Ranch in Chicago on February 5.
Participants will learn "cultural competence" from Demeritt and other Hartman experts, including analysts with deep experience in the food world and Ph.D.s in cultural anthropology and sociology.
"We love teaching cultural competence, because it means talking about everything from history to travel to basic human drives," says head of business development Shelley Balanko, who holds a Ph.D. in applied social psychology.
Equipped with cultural wisdom, people quickly start drawing connections between the culture of food and beverage and their businesses. To encourage such creative thinking, the day will include a tour of "artifact stations" with themes such as snacking and eating alone, as well as speed-dating-style meetings with consumers to quickly assess new ideas.
The day of culture will end with case studies of brands and companies that have made food and beverage culture connections and missteps, and a look at best practices for culturally competent food and beverage companies.