Apr 22 2016
Take the Earth Day Challenge to reduce waste to help the environment and your company’s bottom line
$1 trillion worth of food is wasted annually worldwide. That equates to about a third of the food production worldwide, and it’s a growing issue, not just for the environment, but for millions of hungry people worldwide.
Just this week, more than 80 of the world’s most impactful food system leaders – researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students – gathered for a two-day summit called #FoodTank. Panels addressed topics including nourishing the planet, improving nutrient density, the future of organic, investing in the food movement, legislating change in the food system, and more (you can actually watch the entire summit here).
Last fall, world leaders were served “trash” at the U.N. to shed light on the issue. Dishes such as a “Landfill Salad” of vegetable scraps and rejected apples and pears were given to the leaders to showcase just how edible and delicious these foods, which are typically discarded, can be. As food and agriculture leaders are combating the issue worldwide, consumers are looking to their go-to brands…
Mar 25 2016
A recent Bernstein survey revealed that 55% of consumers are becoming more distrustful of the food system, a 15% increase from 2013. While it has a way to go before reaching distrust in government levels that have fueled a raucous presidential primary season, it continues a trend that manufacturers (and investors) large and small have noticed.
Concerns over food safety, GMO foods, and antibiotic use in animals were all up in the survey. One of the big drivers of this I believe is transparency, or lack thereof. Earlier this month, the state of Washington won a lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) for not disclosing donations from major food companies to defeat a labeling proposition.
The GMO labeling debate reached a tipping point resulting in Kellogg, General Mills, Mars and Campbell Soup announcing they will begin to identify products that contain genetically modified foods. This followed the failure of a Senate bill that would have blocked state GMO labeling requirements like the one about to go in effect in Vermont. I expect this to lead to national…
Mar 11 2016
Imagine stepping into a time machine and speaking with our 1976 selves, and the disbelief that would greet our tales of a future where unlikely upstarts, as opposed to reliable titans, are winning over consumers, where raw, unfiltered personality surpasses carefully groomed branding, and where big names have to rewrite their playbooks in attempts to stave off encroachment by rebels who resonate better with the masses. Sound like politics? I’m talking about food.
Although the tides have been turning in the consumables world for a few years already, food marketers in 2016 find themselves in a similar situation as campaign managers struggling to figure out how to position their candidates for an electorate with dramatically different perspectives than generations prior. Instead of pulling a lever in a curtained booth, our “constituents” are voting with their wallets at grocery stores and restaurants. The scramble to connect with authenticity is just as real in either case.
We’ve all heard for some time now that Big Food is faltering, losing consumer trust and not adjusting fast enough to the new realities of shoppers’ expectations. First, of course, that relates…
Mar 11 2016
Gucci. Burberry. Prada. Giorgio Armani. Ralph Lauren. What do they have in common? They’re all in the food business. Wait…. what? Yes, in addition to being iconic fashion brands, each is also a part of a successful restaurant concept. And as more and more retailers are introducing restaurants, each feels the need to keep up with their competitors.
Fashion and food have lived same world, but previously in parallel universes. They’re cut from the same DNA, with an eye for craftsmanship, innovation and authenticity. As dining out reaches higher standards, the union makes perfect sense. Take the rise of quality meals at designer stores like Armani Ristorante and Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar which has made both a tough reservation more than a year after launch.
Beyond tastemaker appeal, there are a few other forces fueling this trend. Consumers want an “experience,” something memorable and engaging. When retailers add experiential components like a luxurious lunch complete with a celeb spotting at Fred’s in Barneys, it increases store “dwell time.” There’s also the obvious convenience factor. When you give hungry shoppers a full dining experience right at their…
Feb 26 2016
Leap Day is Monday, February 29 and on this rare occasion, the food marketer asks oneself: are there any food traditions associated with this quadrennial holiday? A cursory Google search reveals a few punny recipes for frog-shaped cookies and such, but no real evidence of a traditional way to eat in observation of the extra day added to February every four years.
I’m rather surprised that we haven’t seen enterprising (and publicity-savvy) winemakers or artisan cheddar cheese producers create a special product that’s aged for exactly four years and unsealed for celebratory tasting specifically on each February 29. Bonny Doon, this would be right up your alley.
According to Nation’s Restaurant News, “Restaurants are trying to … the day as an opportunity to promote special menu prices or treats for people born on this most rare of dates.” Hmmm. That’s not very inspired. Do consumers really jump at the chance to order a second mediocre pizza for 29 cents, just because they can?
At least Arby’s is using the occasion creatively by “offering the company’s first ever vegetarian menu, highlighted by Arby’s signature sandwich lineup, minus the delicious meats that make them sandwiches.” Wait, what? That’s just condiments on…
Feb 19 2016
Over the past decade, Americans have forsaken the fizz in favor of bottled water. According to Packaged Facts, during the past ten years the number of adults who drank five or more glasses of carbonated soda fell by double digits, while the number of water drinkers grew by 22 percent.
It looks like America is trying to get healthy and heart disease scared everybody straight. It looks that way, until someone decided to take the effervescent goodness of soda and combine it with one of the country’s favorite pastimes: imbibing.
Hard root beer was the hit of 2015. Not Your Father’s Root Beer was one of the best selling craft beers of the year, generating more than 85 million in sales (according to IRI). Since then, the hard soda category has taken off, with breweries across the country getting in on the action. Even Seagrams wants a piece of the pie – just this week it launched its own hard soda line. And, during this year’s Super Bowl, hard soda made an appearance in a beer-dominated ad lineup.
So for a country filled with consumers who are shirking soda in favor…
Feb 12 2016
Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving in terms of American food consumption. During the four to five hours of the game alone, the average viewer consumes 2400 calories, which is a full day for many. As we wash down salty snacks and greasy foods with cold beer and soda, we are bombarded with food and beverage ads. Perhaps they should offer some PSA time for gym memberships.
We did a full recap of all ads on Monday’s Buzz Bin, and pointed out the shortcomings of the pharmaceutical industry on Thursday. One thing you probably noticed with all the ads was the proliferation of hashtags. Some brands were rewarding tweets with cash, while others just quickly flashed it at the end of their 30 seconds of fame.
Best Beer Ad: Overall, I thought it was a weak category of nominees this year. Budweiser ditched the puppies in favor of Helen Mirren and Clydesdales. The “Bud Light Party” linked into the attention of election season,…