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PR Industry Trends

The Scoop on National Ice Cream Month: Reagan, Beets and 2016 Trends

timeout July
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Ever curious about who named July “National Ice Cream Month” and why there are a slew of ice cream-related events and campaigns that are centered around it? Well, you can thank Congress and Ronald Reagan. In 1983, over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States. In 1984, Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 298, designated July as “National Ice Cream Month,” with “National Ice Cream Day” falling on the 3rd Sunday of the month. President Ronald Reagan was then requested to issue a proclamation in observance of these events and called upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

As, National Ice Cream Month goes on its 32nd year, Americans are entrenched in ice cream culture. We’ve become more innovative and more demanding. This year, the most popular campaigns appear to circle around discounted deals (or better yet, free ice cream), the newest (most daring) flavors, DIY, and healthier alternatives.

FREE Ice Cream!uber ice cream

  • Uber surged their popularity with #UberIceCream, which happened on Friday, July 15. People around the world had ice cream delivered via Uber, free

Wine, Food & Nutrition

Surf & Suds: 10 Beach Breweries for Your Bucket List

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Peanut butter and jelly. Baseball games and peanuts. Teens and Snapchat. Some things just go together. For us beer lovers, there’s nothing better than the combination of brews and the beach. There’s just something about the feeling of sand between your toes, the smell of salt air, the sound of crashing waves, and watching a vividly-colorful sunset…it makes you want to kick back, take it all in, and sip an ice-cold frothy beer. Ahhhhh, life is good! With all the action going on in tasting rooms in breweries throughout the country, sometimes all summer requires is great-tasting beer in a beach setting. So what better way to celebrate summer than with a list of must-visit beach breweries? Here are 10 to get you started.

Backshore Brewing Co.
Ocean City, MD

Backshore

Any brewery that features a VW van is at the top of my “cool” list. AND it’s on the boardwalk. Which means it’s on the beach. AND it has an ocean view. Mic drop. (Personal note: I’d love to turn back time to the summer of 1991 when I lived in Ocean City with my friends a block

PR Industry Trends

I’m Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille (and Pinterest)

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If you’re at all active on social media platforms, chances are you’ve seen the humorous posts revisiting the embarrassingly awful styles depicted in photos from 1970s-era mail order catalogs. There’s a world of velour leisurewear, inexplicably loud prints and wiiiiiide lapels that you can barely believe was the accepted fashion of the day. Yet when you pause to think that our grandchildren will definitely look back at images of 2016 and eye-roll about our current idea of trendy attire, you realize that each era has its own aesthetic that is very real and valid in the moment – and looks unbelievably passé in a decade or less.

Food fashion is no different.

Yes, food has a fashion. In one aspect, it’s the era-specific choice of ingredients and preparations. Increased global awareness and commerce have moved once-exotic produce such as kiwifruit and avocados to the front of our plates in a few short decades, for example. A few years ago, the average consumer had never heard of the sous vide water bath cooking technique; now after 13 seasons of “Top Chef” on TV, millions of us can name-drop it like we studied at Johnson & Wales culinary school.

In another

The Booze Bin

What the wine trade can learn from 2016’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic Trends

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Earlier this month, I had the absolute privilege to escape New York City and head to Colorado for the 34th annual Food + Wine Classic in Aspen. Not only did my eyes soak up marvelous mountain vistas, I also had the chance to sample scrumptious snacks and luscious libations. And as a marketing professional, it was also a sneak peek behind the curtain to see what’s new and exciting in the world of wine and food. With over 5,000 epicurean attendees, Danny Myer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group explains, “It’s where I find out what my customers will be drinking next year.” So with a wine glass in one hand and a camera in the other, I embarked on a gourmet journey to discover the undeniable trends from the 2016 Food + Wine Classic in Aspen.

ASPEN

Rosé Reigns with diverse audiences

We have already reported that rosé wines are a growing trend in the wine industry, and if you’ve been to a liquor store at all this season, you’ve surely seen more and more rosé lining the shelves. This was certainly the case at the Food +

Crisis Management

Food in Times of Crisis

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People love talking about, tweeting, instagramming and pinning food. In fact, when this post was written, there were 176,340,729 posts on Instagram tagged with #food – and that number will grow in a matter of minutes.

As an instantaneous wealth of insight, social media provides food & beverage companies with the perfect opportunity to hear conversations and opinions that shed light on consumers’ shifting tastes and preferences. If consumers are talking about your product or brand, the last thing you want to do is leave them hanging. Proactively listening, understanding, and responding to consumers’ feedback and thoughts is social media 101. Unsurprisingly, brands that are active and conversational on social media see the greatest engagement.

The real challenge lies when things don’t go as planned, better known as the dreaded crisis. From snowballing negative comments to full-blown protests, the course of a crisis and its impact is directly correlated with how brands respond to the social unrest.

Here are 4 takeaways from how food & beverage brands faced and overcame social turmoil:

  • KNOW WHEN TO APOLOGIZE. Whole Foods is a great example of a brand that knows when to say it’s sorry. A customer tweeted a picture of pre-peeled and re-packaged

Wine, Food & Nutrition

The Power of Packaging: How to Win Over the Hearts and Minds of Consumers

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On average, people make about 35,000 decisions every day. I am endlessly fascinated by what drives a person’s decision-making process. As a beverage marketer, I am particularly interested in what sways a person to select one bottle, can or box over another and put it in the shopping cart, whether virtual or in-store. There is no set formula that shows why a person selects one product over another, but we can try to better understand the people behind the purchases, and zero in on some of the factors that influence decision-making.

PHOTO1

One important factor relates to packaging. According to Nielsen, 64% of consumers try a new product because the package catches their eye, and 41% will continue to purchase a product because they prefer its design. In a study completed by Nielsen on wine packaging design for wines under $20, the bottles that grabbed consumers’ attention best had brightly colored labels and capsules. The personality of a brand projected through the packaging is also influential, and what really differentiates one brand from another. For wines above $10, Nielsen found that millennials gravitated towards brands that portrayed a

Digital Marketing

Man vs. Cocktail

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bigstock-Group-Of-Happy-Smiling-Friends-41555776-300x199

I’m noticing a trend: cocktail manufacturers are targeting men.

Case in point: Stoli. Interestingly, their research showed that while nearly three of four millennial men liked flavored cocktails, the vast majority 63% claimed that they avoid them in public because they were anxious about what their friends would say.

Nearly half of millennial men said that there was a negative stigma associated with men drinking flavored cocktails because they are seen as a drink for women.

Millennials are more insecure about this than older generations: 41% of millennial men think that their drink of choice is a reflection of their masculinity compared to 32% of Gen Xers and only 15% of boomers.

Stoli chose to tackle the issue head-on with a cheeky new ad campaign focusing on their flavored vodka and easy-to-order cocktails.

Adweek

Others have sought to overcome this perception hurdle by bringing the cocktail experience home. At Food Loves Tech, one of the featured gadgets was Bartesian’s home cocktail maker. Currently in pre-sales mode and seeking funding via a Kickstarter campaign, it takes the public cocktail experience into the home.


PR Industry Trends

3 Principles for Fueling Food Trends

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How did kale become so popular? Why can you not go a day without avocado toast in your Instagram feed? Why do some food trends come and go before you can say Po-Taco and others stick? The Wall Street Journal dove into the topic this week looking at the case of broccoli rabe, and the meteoric rise of avocado toast, which we are very familiar with. While the WSJ piece focused on the use of paid influencers, sometimes it is simply having the right idea at the right time in an easily translatable and approachable context.

popsugar

popsugar.com

The curious case of avocado toast began at Café Gitane in New York City in the summer of 2008. It did not take off immediately, but by 2014, everyone was taking notice. Some credited the increased awareness of the good fats and nutritional benefits along with visual social mediums like Instagram and Pinterest helping it to explode. It also fit into the “clean living” trend which is also ripe for social boasting. Working with APEAM (Avocado Producer and Exporters Association of Michocan), now Avocados From Mexico, we…

Branding

Rise of the Robo-Restaurant: Will Technology Change the Way we Eat?

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image: Tablet Magazine

The topic of technology in restaurants has been stirring up some pretty interesting discussion recently. Touch screens, interactive apps and online ordering have become an increasingly common fixture in fast-casual dining. Meanwhile, new-comers like Eatsa are pushing digital integration to a Jetsons-esque extreme with a dining experience that is almost entirely automated—where customized quinoa bowls magically appear on demand with no human in sight, as if the food itself was constructed from ones and zeroes.

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photo: New York Times

Though operators and consumers alike are showing an appetite for more tech in their diet, there is a growing concern around what this means for the future of food. Will humans in food service go the way of the dodo, or the gas station attendant? Will automated dining change the way we eat forever?

Nope.

Not really.

Look, I love paranoid fantasies as much as the next guy. The first time I ordered a sandwich from a touch screen, I too fast-forwarded to a dystopian future where apathetic humans suckled at the bosom of…

Wine, Food & Nutrition

Why is eating sensibly so uncool?

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I recently attended a conference at the NYU School of Medicine, titled Dietary Strategies for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction. The objective of the conference was to educate health care providers about the importance of diet as a crucial component in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The diets that were discussed have a body of evidence behind them, (epidemiologic and clinical studies), to help support this recommendation – the Mediterranean diet and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Overall, both diets emphasize moderate amounts of low-fat dairy, low sodium, low saturated-fat and plenty of fruits, vegetables and nuts.

To me, the Mediterranean diet and the DASH eating plans are not ‘diets’ in the popular sense that we are used to. They are lifestyles that can be sustained for the long haul because they don’t restrict, eliminate or deprive you. They don’t require countless hours of counting and subtracting or require a PhD to help read the labels. This conference made me realize that these plans backed by science have never had their real moments in the spotlight. Where are their Instagram moments?  How come we never hear about a celebrity following the DASH diet?

One popular