Feb 3 2016
I’m skeptical of old-fashioned segmentation: women, age groups, income levels. With so many data streams accessible and the ability to glean extensive information about consumers, we have an opportunity to reassess how we categorize affinity groups. Emerging fields like ethnography and neuroscience add layers of intelligence and new ways of approaching segments that can guide brand managers and marketers. I wrote about this in 2013 following a conference that I co-created to explore marketing themes in the wine industry, The Exchange. One example: analyzing how mothers and daughters shop together, a prevalent occasion in the Latina community, can enhance how beverage alcohol brands market to this group of potential consumers. That segment can’t be explored by broadly looking at women and wine.
Is simply halving the population enough of a segment to shed light on how to go to market? Can we glean any actionable information from this? The short answer is that it depends.
Last week, I attended a Wine Market Council research conference. The Wine Market Council has been tracking annual wine consumer attitudes and behaviors for two…
Jan 29 2016
New Orleans, a tapestry of history, spirituality, tradition, culinary arts, culture, soul, architecture, music and art all in one; and a perfect place to take a trip if you want a bit of everything. At the time of my visit in late December, Mardi Gras was still about 6 weeks away but the city was already gearing up for the celebration. Now, here we are just 12 days away from Fat Tuesday when partygoers from all over the world will flood the streets of the French Quarter, a place where eating and drinking run the show. Read More
Jan 15 2016
While The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans continue to gain traction in the media and blogosphere, it is pretty obvious that the egg and meat industry are pleased with the outcome of the final guidelines, while the produce folks continue to be in a great position when it comes to health. However, a few other industries are sharing their enthusiasm for some of the newer recommendations in this year’s report.
Jan 14 2016
Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) releases Dietary Guidelines for Americans—they’re supposed to be a resource for health professionals and policymakers as they design and implement nutrition programs, like the USDA’s National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
According to the HHS, about half of all American adults—117 million people, if you’re doing the math—have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity.
That’s not a cheap problem to be facing—in 2012, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes alone was $245 billion. That’s including nearly $180 billion in direct medical costs.
If you’re a marketer for a food or healthcare company, pay attention here. These guidelines are not just for health professionals and policymakers. This is a significant opportunity for you to help consumers not only understand the report, but also understand how they can integrate the changes into their own lifestyles.
Take a look at the new 2015-2020 Guidelines below.
Jan 6 2016
When I went to school for international studies, my professors never talked about how business teams functioned across global markets. It was simply a matter of mastering linguistics. However, the reality is that cultural differences can create business challenges that get in the way of doing great work.
At the request of Felicity Carter, editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, I spoke on a panel called “Speaking Globally: Creating influence and negotiating deals in world markets” at Wine Vision, an annual conference that seeks to set the global agenda for the wine industry. Ms. Carter, very eloquently, spoke about direct versus indirect cultures, the significance of a strong translation partner, and how humor generally doesn’t translate well.
I drew upon my experience in managing multi-national communications campaigns and how the concept of “glocal” – where global strategy meets local execution – has shaped effective marketing campaigns.
A bit of background: The way we approach marketing has changed significantly in the last ten years. Gone are the days of executing one single program across the world in an imperialistic style. The phrase “glocalization,” or, in short, “glocal,” was coined…
Dec 18 2015
For all true foodies, this is the time of year to look back in 2015 and reminisce on all the delicious meals consumed. Can’t quite remember that epic mile-high cheesecake you ate last April? Don’t fret, with 40% of Millennial’s using mobile devices during mealtime, just take a peek at your social media history for a stroll down memory lane.
Now let’s not point fingers at just the Millennials. In fact, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation are now even more distracted by their mobile devices during mealtime than their younger counterparts, or so Nielsen studies say.
Yes, we must accept it – mobile devices are now a part of the dining experience, truly capturing the essence of how we enjoy food. From diners to restaurants to home chefs, here are 3 ways in which social media is impacting our relationship with food.
Here’s a scenario: you get a reservation at one of the most sought-after restaurants in town, order the award-winning duck confit and dine happily in foodie heaven. But the question stands, if you do not tweet, post or Instagram a picture of this glorious, delicious moment, did it…
Dec 3 2015
As 2015 draws to a close, and we think about the advancements that impact the way we live, one word springs to mind – Uber. Whether going to the airport, a meeting, or just across town, Uber is quick, efficient and can even be economical with shared ride options. In just five years, Uber has quickly grown with service in over 60 countries and 300 cities, setting the standard for getting what we want quickly – but transportation is just the beginning.
In this on demand culture, there are a variety of categories experiencing a shift – and there’s data to support the growing trend. In five years, $1.75 billion has been invested in startups like Airbnb, Hotel Tonight and Seamless. As the popularity of on-demand service increases, brands are changing the way they do business. In fact, just yesterday a colleague of mine was telling me about UberPuppies—a service where Uber will bring you a puppy for 15 minutes of playtime.
Let’s take a look at another function of Uber – UberEATS, a take-out service using the same on-demand concept but instead of taking you where you want to go, they deliver meals to you. Kind of like a food truck that comes right to your doorstep. Menus are limited so Uber can…
Nov 20 2015
Weird thing, the olfactory nerve.
This smell-sensing bundle of neurons that starts in the nose connects directly with parts of the brain strongly connected with emotion and memory. That’s why Hallmark and other stores make a killing this time of year selling candles scented with cinnamon-y chemicals that evoke warm fuzzy feelings of fall and family. We’re smelling augmented paraffin but thinking about a pumpkin pie in the oven, somewhere from our rose-colored past.
Because smell is actually responsible for a high percentage of our perception of “flavor,” it’s an important attribute to think about in the world of food marketing. Food and cocktail chefs have begun using spritzed essences to enhance the consumption experiences of their products, and, reportedly, outlets ranging from mall food courts to Disneyland have for years been pumping their surrounding air full of delectable scents to help lure us to their foodstuffs .
Here on the cusp of the Thanksgiving holiday, I was thinking about a personal scent connection of unexpected importance. Last month I wrote a post about my early inspirations in the food world: TV chefs, cookbook authors and intriguing French culinary terms. But what…
Nov 13 2015
There comes a point where a trend is so long lasting that it may actually represent a shift in cultural consciousness. The current trend of consumers moving toward natural, healthy and sustainable foods is beginning to look more like society-wide standard rather than a blip in diet fads and flavor palates.
Research has shown that Americans are taking a variety of avenues to become more connected to what they put in their bodies and, with those choices, those in leadership positions at food and beverage companies have to analyze how their organizations fit with new demands.
One stark example of healthy directly affecting margins is the soda industry’s battle with changing eating habits. Over the past 20 years, consumption of carbonated soft drinks has declined 25 percent. Sodas have been positioned as the nemesis of healthy eating, a black hole of sugary sweetness devoid of any nutritional benefit, and consumers are listening and actively avoiding purchasing soft drinks.
With attacks from government policy, school lunch rooms and health experts everywhere, soft drink companies have had to grapple with the overwhelming shift in perception. In what some call a desperate move, Coco-Cola has dumped millions of dollars into scientific research in an effort to convince consumers that soda isn’t the problem and has even gone as far as to recruit reputable scientists to make a case in favor of the sugary delight.
As water steadily moves to replace soda as the top beverage, companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo might have to accept their fate at the bottom of the ladder. The 2016 Culinary Forecast survey from The National Restaurant Association shows that leaders in foodservice are expecting consumers to stick to natural, healthy, and responsibly sourced foods in 2016.
From the NRA’s Top 20 Food Trends for 2016