Opinion / Blog

16 opportunities in food marketing

By Marcos Fava Neves (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-10-09 16:43

The idea of this article is to put together some ideas and trends in food marketing based on recent readings, class discussions and cases observations. The contribution is a list of 16 statements that can be used by food companies to think about possible marketing strategies, from new product development to communication and relationships. Let's move to them:

1 - The growing importance of the label as a source of information, transparency and science with higher consumer awareness in the digital world. The much more connected and social generations want to know the story behind the brand, the meaning and the engagement of the company. The web can be used as a source of gathering more information about the brand, inviting the consumer to follow up on knowledge acquisition;

2 – Increasing efforts towards consumer education for the label, in some cases even anticipating future regulations that the industry will face (information needed), but taking care to avoid pollution and excess of information;

3 – Growing consumer interest about the knowledge of food cooking, gourmet kitchens, utensils, home cooking and special meals are driving food companies and retailers to offer more information about "how to cook" and a product line linked to fresh, diversity, healthy, fun and socializing;

4 – Opportunities to have clear and transparent projects with consumer influencers like universities, associations, scientists and others and advertise this in the company offer;

5 – In product development, there are opportunities for snacking concepts, covering nutrition, convenience and portability with different needs based on the time of day that the product will be consumed (food "on the go");

6 – Communicating clearly the math, the amount of calories, the fat content you can consume like good oils and good sources of carbohydrates as energy releasers during the day are accepted. We can eat because we deserve and will burn it;

7 – The growing urban world faces a protein boom and we are looking to other sources of protein rather than the traditional ones like milk and meat. We may expect in the near future several innovative solutions here;

8 - New uses for fruits and vegetables as snacks or as natural food coloring and flavors;

9 - Frozen foods using the argument of nutrition (superior nutrition content). Show the benefits of the ingredients in your products, even being frozen we can compensate by delivering several benefits;

10 - Private labels (supermarket brands) gained market share during the crisis of the last decade and when consumers got used to it, they perceived the value of a possibly lower price for almost the same product or even the same.

11 –A lot of research happens to increase consumer experience and taste perception even changing the texture of some food and beverages;

12 – Using one or a few own stores (vertical integration) as consumer laboratories for food companies;

13 – Increasing opportunities for creating consumer clubs and/or groups (digital platforms) bringing a sense of belonging for the consumer, a permanent linkage with the company, almost as recognition;

14 - Focus on acquiring knowledge of consumers and product customization based on this knowledge. This helps insight generation methods for creating new offers in tune with consumers needs;

15 – Have very responsible communication not only with children (vulnerable audience), but to all consumers;

16 - Be aware of the "buy local" movement to capture opportunities and the trend of knowing your farmer (where my food was produced and by whom), building linkages of the urban consumer with the rural life;

These are some of my observations that can create opportunities in food marketing to add to the ones already being considered by the company. Would any of these represent opportunities for you?

The author is a professor of strategic planning and food chains at the School of Economics and Business, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (www.favaneves.org) and an international speaker. He's the author of "The Future of Food Business" and coordinator of 50 other books published in 8 countries and in China, including "The World on the Tongue".

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