The food sector is one of the rare industries which affects the entire population. It is very diversified, so innovation and creativity are essential to adapt to consumers’ needs.
Due to the constant evolution in the food industry, entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges that are not found in other sectors, and anything marketing related is no exception. In-store competition is fierce, trends change quickly, and above all, marketing strategies need to include a retail component (B2B) which is just as important as the consumer component (B2C).
Over the past few years, Braque has developed its expertise in food marketing thanks to its work with several clients in the industry. In this post, we thought we would share the bit of wisdom we have gained from these mandates, to help you improve your practices and avoid certain pitfalls. So, here are ten good food marketing practices to adopt today!
1. Provide your sales team with the right tools
To help them do their work and properly convey your brand image, you need to provide your salespeople with material to both educate retailers about your products and convince them to make room on their shelves for them. Your sales team also should be able to prove to retailers that you support your brand. Develop tools that feature your recent marketing efforts to demonstrate that you invest in communication and support your products to attract clients to the store. All of your marketing efforts, both big and small, should be featured: sponsorship, content creation, press coverage, an event or advertising.
2. Optimize your packaging
Did you know that 60% of purchase decisions are made in front of the shelves? It is therefore essential that the appearance of your product attract consumers’ attention. These are a few questions you should ask yourself to guide you in the creation of your packaging:
As you can see, there are a multitude of factors that need to be taken into consideration during the development stage of your packaging. It’s no wonder that we think packaging design should be a scientific field in its own right!
3. Don’t underestimate mobile phones
Mobile phones are increasingly used for Internet browsing, so make sure that your website is optimized for this type of use. Before purchasing anything, many consumers have the reflex to do a quick search about a brand or product while they are standing in front of it on store shelves. The information on your site should be clearly presented so that anyone doing a search can easily find what they are looking for. Also think about facilitating the sharing of your content, with share buttons on your pages for example.
4. Keep up with current preferences and trends
People’s eating habits change along with trends and popular movements. For example, today, responsible consumption is gaining importance. Local, healthy, organic foods are popular. Practical products such as pre-cut fruit and vegetables, or ready-to-eat meals are also popular because they allow people with busy schedules to save time. As you can see, it is important to keep up-to-date and adapt your products and practices to keep pace with current trends.
EXPERT ADVICE -
“A good way to test the market’s interest for a new product and respect current trends is to launch a limited edition. Using the seasons or popular foods as inspiration, you can create original products that will attract consumers’ attention and pique their curiosity. Who knows, maybe your product will be such a success that it could eventually be available all year round!”
- Marie-Josée Bourque, Vice-President, Account Services, Braque
5. Have consumers try your products
It is much easier to get a product into consumers’ grocery carts when they have already tried it and know that they like it. In-store sampling, or having a tactical squad distribute samples outside stores are good strategies. Think about sponsorship too, which helps brands ensure their presence in certain events that target the same consumer group.
**6. Interact with consumers on social media **
A very high percentage of adults in Quebec (83%) are on social media (Cefrio, 2018), and food-related content is very popular these days with the growing foodie trend and the appetite for cooking shows and professional chefs. Food-related content has great visual potential, and consumers find it inspiring. As well, social media users, especially millennials, love to share pictures of food, whether it is their dish at a restaurant or a meal they have cooked. Here is a great opportunity to obtain content generated by users and make your clients brand ambassadors. In short, don’t be afraid to experiment with digital marketing!
7. Try cross promotions
Teaming up with another company for a cross promotion will allow you to benefit from its brand awareness and expand your reach by making contact with new consumers who wouldn’t usually consider your brand. Bonus point: with a cross-promotion, you can split the costs of an in-store installation should you not be able to afford one on your own.
8. Shop for your broker
If you can’t hire your own internal sales team, dealing with a broker to represent you to retailers is a good idea. However, make sure that their distribution network is relevant to your products. For example, if your goal is to get your products on supermarket shelves, a broker who only deals with speciality grocery shops wouldn’t be your best choice.
9. Develop a strong brand
Price remains a decisive factor for the majority of consumers. This explains, in part, the increased popularity of house brands, but also why people are not loyal. In order to avoid price comparisons, you need to have a strong brand. The mere fact that your product bears the name of your brand should be in itself an advantage. Create a unique image and positioning, work on your awareness level and ensure that what you are promising is clear to consumers.
10. Work with a communications agency with expertise in food marketing
Communications agencies are allies to help you with various aspects of your marketing communications strategy, from the planning to the production of creative pieces. They are experts at understanding the consumer and possess all the resources that you may not have internally. Moreover, they have the advantage of an external perspective about your products and your brand. Consider choosing an agency with expertise in food marketing, because it will be familiar with the reality of your business and the issues specific to your industry.
Expert advice from, Caroline Graf, Account Manager, Lead - Food Marketing
Would you like more advice or are curious to know what our agency can do for you? Give us a call, we would be happy to talk with you!