Eye Sightings

The Consumer Eyes Blog

Category: Marketing & Retail


What does true brand loyalty look like? Well, you can't do much better than WhatsApplebee's, a new iOS app independently created by programmer Mike Lazer-Walker to let Applebee's fans network with each other. He's labeled it "The Most Exclusive New Social Network," and given that it will only work while the user is physically inside an Applebee's location, that might just be true.

Sweet on Bitters

Bitter Italian liqueurs, known as amari, have been on our trend radar for a little while now. Though their recent reemergence was led by bartenders and mixologists, it's not because these cocktail thought-leaders were adding them to menus; instead, amari became popular because drink mixers were downing them after-hours as a way to end the night and reinvigorate tired tastebuds. Word got out, of course, and we're now in the midst of a revival of complex, bitter cocktails.

Appreciating the Cultural Significance of the Veggie Burger

Contemporary meatless eating has come along way since its days as a hippie fad in the 1960s. Starting in specialty health food stores and macrobiotic restaurants, it really began to impact the mainstream by the early '70s. And a new article in Smithsonian points out that much of its success since that moment has been spearheaded by the veggie burger, invented by Londoner Gregory Sams and initially known as the VegeBurger.

P3 on Good Morning America

We're proud to announce that Good Morning America aired a segment today on Oscar Mayer's new protein-packed snack line, P3, which we helped to develop. With protein's benefits becoming more apparent - and compelling to consumers - every day, we're happy that we were able to help create an exciting brand that delivers valuable nutrients in a fun, portable way. Check out the video here to see the product and even hear a few nutrition experts weigh in.

Beer Goes Out-Of-The-Box

For most of us, our beer drinking habits fall into some pretty well-defined patterns. A pint from the tap at the bar, or maybe a bottle or can from a retail store to drink at home. But lately we've noticed that some establishments are stretching the boundaries of typical drinking occasions, making us reconsider when - and what - we're imbibing.

Whole Foods (and whole foods) in the News


Look, Touch, Experience, Buy

Over the past decade, Cyber Monday has become almost as big a tradition among American consumers as turkey for Thanksgiving. Every year, sales figures for the day have broken records… jumping from $608 million in 2006 to a whopping $1.5 billion last year… and 2013's numbers are expected to do the same.

Interestingly, though, just as we prepare to mark online retail’s biggest day, there are signs that brick-and-mortar retail may not be as doomed as some predict:

Consumer Eyes Visits the Natural Products Expo

This past weekend, we visited the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore to get a firsthand look at the latest foods, beverages and supplements in the natural foods arena. We were particularly struck by the range of subcultures that have popped up in this category – from the gluten-free crowd to casual snackers, hipster vegans to paleo dieters, artisan purists to consumers who just need a quick pre-made dinner, it's more clear than ever that there is no "typical" natural products consumer. 

Stunts or Innovation?

Even if you only casually follow food trends, you've likely noticed that we're currently in a boom of chain-restaurant "stunt" foods – started, arguably, by the bunless KFC Double Down a few years ago and best represented by the massively successful Doritos Locos Taco. The October issue of Wired magazine took a close look at the phenomenon and the enormous amount of research and development (not to mention social media analysis) that goes into each of these items. 

Craft Sodas Get a Vinegar Bite

Lately we've been hearing a lot about the craft soda trend. Brands like Izze and GuS have been giving consumers premium soda options for a while now, but in the last year or so, a new wave of hyperlocal artisanal makers has emerged on the scene. We currently have our eye on Genki-Su, a Portland-based brand that's still just $1000 short of their Kickstarter goal. Their sodas come in Japanese flavors like Yuzu and Shiso mint, and all feature an extra hit of tartness from Okinawan coconut vinegar.