What is Food Marketing?
Food Marketing is defined as a series of marketing events that take place between a food company and a consumer.
Food Marketing – R&D
Long before any product ever hits an assembly line, food companies undertake in-depth research and development. During this stage, food companies aim to understand what consumers are looking for via focus groups and then develop food product ideas that resonate with the target audience. This could be an entirely new food product or modify an existing one, tweaking it to ensure that the product is on target.
During the development phase, companies often start how they plan to market the product. Some food industry giants spend a lot of money on brand development which allows them to generate more demand for their products and this makes consumers more willing to pay more.
Food Marketing & Packaging
Once an idea makes it through the test phase and the company determines there is a market for their food product, they need to decide what type of message they want to send to their potential consumer.
The majority of people make purchasing decisions visually, so packaging has a lot to do with this. Specific colors like red and yellow are said to have a psychological impact on people’s desire for a food product. However a food product focusing on Organic might feature more “earthy” colors compared to bright colors which might suggest they have artificial colors.
Food Marketing Trends
If we look back to the late 1800s food marketing strategies didn’t exist. Everyone purchased products based on location because transportation and manufacturing weren’t nearly as advanced as it is today. Transporting goods was so expensive that it was easier for someone to buy their food from someone they knew in their local area.
Today, more and more companies use digital marketing strategies with a softer touch to try and create brand loyalty. We see more families and emotional advertising coming about to try and touch hearts and build trust.
Food Trends that could contribute to what a food product could end up being could include popular factors like Organic, Vegetarian, Barbeque, Gluten Free and Reduce Salt or Sugar to name just a few. The Food Trend could greatly impact the design.
We also see food brands leveraging the power of their brands to create additional products outside of their usual mix. Heinz at one time focused their brand entirely on pickles, but now you can find Heinz ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and more.
Food Marketing & The Messaging
Another factor that goes into branding is the overall tonality of their advertisements. We’ll use Jif as an example again. For many years, when we think of Jif, we think of “Choosy moms choose Jif.”
That is a direct marketing tactic attempting to reach out to moms who are picky about what their kids eat. If we look at Smucker’s jelly, the company takes a lighthearted approach and drives home the message that they are a family run company who cares about their product.
As a result, these companies can charge more for their products because they have positioned themselves as a premium brand in their market. Having a target audience and knowing where you stand in the marketplace is the most important thing you can do when marketing your food to consumers.