June 21st 2016

New Marketing Trends in the Food Industry.

Posted by Will Shadbolt

Thanks to social media, the food industry is being glamorized in new ways. Instagrams of food are gaining in popularity, to the point where it is not uncommon to ask head or celebrity chefs about their (usually strong) opinions on the pictures. Videos on BuzzFeed and Facebook of people making unconventional but mouth watering foods are also trending. As the way people interact with their eats changes, so do the marketing trends in the industry. Here are some examples:

Backstories are becoming more important. People want their food to be locally grown, grass fed, and free range. They want to know where it's coming from and what every ingredient is. They want the animals to be treated right before being led to the slaughterhouse. One advertiser live-streamed videos of farms supplying milk. But watch out, restaurants should be careful not to stretch the truth. It was recently discovered that some claims of serving locally grown food by restaurants in the Tampa Bay area were false, and the story made the rounds online, to the detriment of the businesses' reputations. 

Consumers do not want food to go to waste. The amount of food that remains uneaten is astronomical, making up about 40% of all food purchased and wasting an estimated $165 billion. It receives national coverage and is targeted by talk show comedians/activists such as John Oliver. As a result, stores like Trader Joe's are showing off how they donate to homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Other operations in the industry have found new ways to integrate "wasted" food into their businesses. Roy Choi and Daniel Paterson include scraps in recipes at the hip LocoL restaurant in Los Angeles, and Dan Barber, behind the Blue Hill in Manhattan, organized a pop-up event entitled wastED that featured celebrity chefs making meals with odd morsels. 

Packaging is also becoming pivotal. It's not enough that the food be organic and look appetizing: in these competitive markets, unconventional packaging is starting to be used to get more attention. The UK branch of Dominos redesigned the pizza boxes to resemble blue and red dominos. A new brand of rosé wine comes in what look like beer cans to target frat bros. A few brands have taken this idea to heart and gone even further, which is why McDonald's in Sweden is making their Happy Meals function as virtual reality headsets and consumers can now get Coke cans with their names on them. 

In the coming years, while food tastes may change (it's starting to look like sriracha might be replaced by either ghost peppers or gochujang, a spicy Korean condiment), these trends will likely continue to be a major part of food businesses. For those in the industry, the first step to launching a new food product or revamping your image is your branding. At Giovatto Advertising, we know how to take your vision and translate it into ads. We'll talk to your employees, your customers, and even factor in how the competition views you to make sure you have the ideal brand. When it comes to your company and product image, trust the pros.

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