The New York Times recently ran an article entitled Food Brands Compete to Stretch a Dollar which talked about how food brands are advertising their products during the recession to maintain market share. If you’re in the food or advertising business the article is a must read.
The article discusses how some more expensive brands are being left on the shelf, while cheaper private labels and store brands sales soar. To combat the trend of private label sales increasing, large food companies are vamping up their advertising spend to ensure that sales continue and they maintain market share. “shoppers eager to save money are trading down from full-price, brand-name fare to cheaper private labels and store brands. That means advertisers concerned about losing market share must make persuasive arguments about the value propositions of their wares”. Which in other words means things like 20% extra value, $2 per serve and snacks for $1 as examples of the messaging. They are designed to grab the attention of the Main Grocery Buyer.
The article also mentions the decline of consumers’ dining out and discusses how companies such as Kraft and Nestlé, hope to capitalize on the opportunity by heavily marketing the perceived value of packaged foods. Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh meats is also doing this by proclaiming in their marketing how their meats taste “deli fresh. But without the deli counter price.” Other examples from Kraft include advertising campaigns for boxed dinners like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Velveeta Shells and Cheese, carrying the theme “Save. Share. Smile”; Kool-Aid, carrying the theme “More smiles per gallon”; and Kraft Singles cheese slices describes how a Singles cheeseburger can be made for less than a dollar.
Gourmet Ads has been running campaigns with creative like those discussed above; however we’ve seen a bigger trend in the use of coupons. I think 30% of the campaigns running today on our advertising network have some sort of coupon based creative in the messaging.
While many other industries slash advertising budgets, I think over the next 6 to 12 months we’ll see a great percentage of food companies heavily investing during this recession. Kellogg’s has always been a company which has heavily advertised during recessions and generally comes out of periods of decline with greater market share. Some of the food companies we’ve spoken to have increased their spend by up to 50% more then compared to last year.
If you’re looking at running a campaign aimed at reaching the main household grocery buyer and influencing them, then Gourmet Ads can deliver this audience.