Symrise, a global leader in the manufacture of food and beverage ingredients, has launched an initiative focused on the American craft food and beverage space. Details on this initiative – including consumer research, interviews with experts, trend analysis, category interrogations and concept creations – have been published in Symrise’s Craft eBook, which is now available to food and beverage manufacturers.

To establish a better understanding of its meaning, Symrise identified the key drivers of the craft concept in foods and beverages. It also examined the relevance and perception of craft across a spectrum of key food and beverage categories, all of which have helped uncover numerous opportunities for innovation.

One constant throughout the extensive research conducted by Symrise was the insight that consumers and experts have differing views on how to define “craft.” Conversely, craft foods and beverages clearly encompass themes around tradition, innovation, personality and intentionality. They also satisfy three dimensions of personal needs: physical, emotional and psychological. The emotional needs addressed by craft cannot be understated. Consumers expressed the emotional of craft in three distinct ways: the thrill and risk of new discoveries; the joy they experience when tasting something unique or hand-made; and the feeling of comfort they get when given a moment of attention that they can cherish.

Long recognized as a leader in the research and analysis of the food and beverage industry, Symrise utilized many cutting-edge techniques and tools to enhance its understanding of the craft market. Their first step was an in-depth examination of millennials across the country using a range of powerful research tools that engaged consumers online with blogs, forums and picture books. A key finding was that craft products have specific product attributes. They feature carefully chosen, natural and fresh ingredients; use bold flavors that are more intense than the mainstream; are manufactured with a handmade process; are perceived as exclusive or scare because of their limited availability; and have a provenance that establishes their authenticity as craft.

The initiative discovered that millennials value authenticity and experience, which leads them toward artisan and craft goods. These consumers also want to know everything about a craft product including not only the quality of ingredients and packaging, but also a company’s people and partnerships.

Symrise’s Craft eBook contains several articles detailing the learning that came from experiencing firsthand how craft is being expressed in “real life.” This meant witnessing craft companies and their customers up-close and in-person while “Craft Trekking Through New York.” These treks validated the research findings and clearly demonstrated the emotional, personal and physical dimensions of personal needs that are met when experiencing craft.

One of the many trek stops was Brooklyn’s Blue Bottle Coffee, where baristas not only need to learn the ins and outs of the store’s carefully chosen beans, but the process and equipment that will do those beans justice in drawing out the richest, boldest and most unique flavors. Some additional insights came from a company called Urban Glass, which is dedicated to the pride of craftsmanship by its glassmaking-artisans. By choosing to allow contrasts between pieces, their patrons see the uniqueness and one-of-a-kind quality in each piece of art, making it that much more special.

When Symrise began its extensive examination of the craft movement, its objective was to “fully understand what craft means so that we could develop the best possible flavors and ingredient solutions to support this important movement.” The culmination of this study of craft has revealed a number of market opportunities for food and beverage product development and marketing teams, which are all presented with great detail in their Craft eBook.

To access the Symrise Craft eBook visit: