In a space with fierce competition, food companies rely on compelling marketing strategies to stay afloat. While a comprehensive food marketing strategy consists of several moving parts, there are three key components that suppliers can address to drive results. Use the following tips to ensure a mouthwatering marketing plan.
1. Packaging Is Paramount
A considerable 34% of all items bought during a grocery shopping trip are unplanned purchases, according to a Deloitte study. What’s more, 35% of respondents reported that packaging always or often triggers them to buy on impulse.
Standout packaging design is essential to grabbing consumers’ attention. Even your most loyal customers could jump ship if a competitor’s packaging looks more appealing on the shelf.
Simplify And Specify
Two aspects for food marketers to keep in mind when updating packaging are simplicity and accurate audience targeting.
- Use minimal imagery and limit yourself to 2-3 colors. A wildly intricate design will overwhelm shoppers who want to asses your product quickly.
- Avoid the use of confusing industry jargon; Less is more when it comes to text.
- Contrastingly, certain phrases carry a lot of meaning in health food marketing and should be used as differentiators. Examples include “certified organic”, “gluten-free”, or “vegan.”
- Food marketing to youth requires a different approach than marketing to adults. Consider depicting recognizable characters on packaging that will resonate with children.
- Is your product meant to be consumed by people living an active lifestyle? If so, It might make sense to package portions individually. Conversely, if a product is meant to be consumed over time by multiple members of a family, it should be contained in larger packaging.
2. Demos Lead to Dollars
The same study referenced above revealed that 49% of consumers will make an unplanned purchase of a product after receiving a free sample of it. In addition to short term sales, product demos have notable long-term effects.
Hosting an experiential food marketing event such as a demo or sampling helps humanize your brand while educating the public about it. These events also provide an opportunity to collect customer feedback or encourage consumers to take some other action, such as following your social media accounts. People are more likely to remember and talk about a brand they had a personal experience with.
Related: The Guide to Effective In-Store Demos
Enhance The Experience
- Conduct an informal in-store survey as part of your food marketing research. Body language and other nonverbal cues displayed in consumers’ reactions will be very telling about what your brand does well and where it can improve.
- Complement demos with in-store signage to reinforce your brand recognition and boost same-day sales.
- Besides demos and samplings, coordinate cooking classes that feature your product as a recipe ingredient. This type of event showcases your product’s versatility and builds goodwill in the community.
3. Content Is King
Registered dietician and marketing communications consultant Peggy O’Shea-Kochenbach explains that “Consumers don’t just buy on brand name anymore. They buy on brand attributes.” Digital content is an ideal medium for telling your brand’s story.
In many instances, marketing and food both encourage sharing. Creating educational and engaging content is an effective way for food marketers to get in front of their target audience, as well as social media influencers. In fact, FMI data indicates that 53% of all shoppers engage with food digitally through social media; that figure increases to 73% for millennials.
Celebrate Social Sharing
- Leverage highly-shareable video. Views of food-related videos are now above 23 billion.
- Post recipes that feature your products. Recipe-format is preferred for the thousands of food bloggers who might want to share your post.
- Modern consumers appreciate transparency. Include intimate details about your company, its history, its mission, employee profiles, the organizations you partner with, etc. in your posts so that users can share these details with their peers.
- Don’t underestimate the power of imagery. How often do you hear, “Look up (brand x) on Instagram”? Captivating photos have the power to educate the public about both your products and your brand.
- The beauty of shareable content is that it allows you to expand your reach with no additional cost. Whether your content is being consumed by your target audience or social influencers with no affinity for your brand, it’s still driving value.
Brands that are able to develop and execute innovative food marketing strategies will make current and potential customers hungry for more. Set yourself apart with bold packaging that stands out on the retail shelf, inviting product demonstrations, and memorable digital content.