Nina Guest 

Manager, Consumer Insights, Olive Garden  

I will admit, I watch many different types of food shows not just baking ones, though the Great British Baking Show is my favorite. I also love Top Chef, No Reservations and The Final Table. I feel like watching these shows is a way to explore the world through how people cook and what they like to eat. Since I have the privilege of providing insights in the food industry, it is a great way for me to stay grounded in what people find comforting to eat, which evolves over time – and in contrast, which foods are new or innovative. Now that cooking shows are more mainstream, they can influence what foods emerge for the consumer as well. While indulging my passion for cooking and food I am also increasing my awareness of food trends so I can share with others. 

Though not new to the space, I am interested in real-time surveying via mobile. I feel like the targeting technology has gotten to the place where reaching broader populations is now more feasible. The prospect of getting nearly immediate answers to polls and targeting consumers as they are actively engaging with the brand has great potential to augment other methods.

Generally speaking, I find moms of school-age kids to be the most open to giving their opinions to brands. As a mom, I am encouraged that parenting is a much more open topic these days. From blogs that give great tips on parenting hacks and lifestyle advice to honest conversations on social media about parenting challenges and solutions, moms often share to help others. Communicating with brands is part of this paradigm. This group is actively participating to share their thoughts and experiences to shape brand strategies that fit their needs. 

Every day is an adventure and an opportunity to make an impact. It is exciting that every day is different, based on the current topics at hand and methodologies being utilize...