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PR Industry Trends

Too Many “Celeb” Cooks in the Kitchen?

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As we know by now, the days of Julia Child and “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” are way over.  Today, there are more cooks in the TV kitchen than you can shake a spatula at! It’s probably safe to say that many viewers are often watching these shows for pure entertainment value, with little or no intention to bring the recipes to life in their own kitchen. Trisha Yearwood, Debi Mazar, Valerie Bertinelli, Run D.M.C., Brian Boitano and Tiffani Amber Thiessen are among the many famous actors, rappers and yes,  even figure skaters —who’ve become recognizable as “foodie celebs” in their own right. Even Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has joined in on the fun, releasing a $200 cookbook which, according to Espn.com, has already sold out.

Brian-KitchenI’ve always enjoyed watching cooking shows on TV and seeing all of the new ideas and techniques on the screen that inspire and teach everyday cooks.  There are hundreds of hours of weekly food programming on stations like the Cooking Channel and the Food Network, but also on major broadcasts like FOX, NBC and ABC. It’s interesting to see how cooking shows…

The Booze Bin

Sour Ale: A Beer for Wine Drinkers

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The adult beverage market is as vast as the sea, with ever changing tides to keep marketers on their toes. The explosion of the craft beer movement has brought a lot of recent attention to sour ales, which are popping up all over. Just when you thought you were learning the difference between porter and stout, sour beer is the new kid on the block. Intentionally acidic and/or tart, “sour beers” are the newest trend in alcohol segmentation.

History of Sour Beer

Marketers should understand that many of today’s products have crossover appeal; they are products that target more than one audience. A sour beer so complex, it lures the perpetual wine drinker in for a sip. A spirit aged in beer barrels, so enticing even the most staunch beer drinker would give it a try.

Have you tried Sour Beer yet?

The story of sour ales is almost as old as the story of beer itself. Modern day brewing is a sterile, thoughtful process, but it hasn’t always been so. Before pure yeast cultures were available, brewers of old would use wild yeast to start their…

PR Industry Trends

Three Marketing Musings Inspired by Eating Across Europe

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The Tapas BarI’m grateful for the opportunity to have recently vacationed in Europe again, returning to spend time in two favorite cities and also checking out a new destination. As a food lover and marketer, of course much of my travel enjoyment was punctuated by dining experiences – and in hindsight, several of those culinary moments were good reminders of trends and lessons happening in the world of marketing communications.

1. The Tapas Bar. In the beautiful old city center of Seville, I made a point to take in as much Moorish architecture, flamenco guitar music and tapas as I could in three days. Tapas are great for sharing, but the small plates format is also great for solo dining at a bar. The prawns were fantastic and the artichoke transcendent, but the surprise star of the show at La Brunilda was the beverage in the glass. Sangria? No way. I heeded advice to avoid the insipid “made for tourists” punch and tried what the locals enjoy, especially during the sunny middle of the afternoon: vermouth. Many of us Americans have probably only heard of vermouth in the context of…

PR Industry Trends

Good to the Last Bite

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Take the Earth Day Challenge to reduce waste to help the environment and your company’s bottom line

cereals_en$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…

Healthcare

World Health Day 2016 Focuses on Diabetes!

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On my way to work today scrolling down my Twitter feed on the subway platform, I saw that it was World Health Day and to my delight this year’s focus is “Beat #Diabetes”!

World Health Day 2016: #Beat diabetes
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This is a topic close to my heart (and my non-working pancreas) and the main reason why food became my passion. Twenty years ago, almost to the exact day, I was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes AKA Juvenile, child-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes. On April 16, 1996, my world changed forever and so would my relationship with food.

Like many Type 1’s, I get frustrated at the ignorance that surrounds this disease, as most of the hype focuses on Type 2 Diabetes. My Diabetes, which accounts for approximately 1.25 million American children and adults, isn’t caused by poor lifestyle choices, lack of physical activity or an unhealthy diet. The causes for Type 1 are actually still unknown but over the years there have been many theories as to how this invisible killer comes about: bacteria and/or virus, medicinal drugs, chemical irritants and/or environmental irritants. Even still, there is much ignorance, public misconception and misperception that looms around Diabetes. Media outlets all over the…

The Booze Bin

Reviving Beer: Why National Beer Day Matters

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‘Twas the day before #NationalBeerDay, and marketers everywhere

Were scratching their heads and wondering, “Why do we need another made-up “holiday?”

Is it an arbitrary date on the calendar, selected by marketers to increase product promotion?

Does anyone even care?

The story of National Beer day begins during drier times in the United States. Prohibition, which began in 1920, was the nationwide constitutional ban on alcoholic beverages, from production to transportation to purchase. It was repealed 13 years later with the enactment of the Cullen-Harrison Act. Upon signing this legislation, also known as the “Beer Permit Act,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously remarked, “I think this would be a good time for a beer!”

fdr

#NationalBeerDay was born on April 7, 1933

And just like that, FDR inadvertently created National Beer Day on April 7, 1933 – the anniversary of the date the bill took effect.

 But history is only one piece of the puzzle, and smart marketers should look to the future to stay connected with their customers.

EMERGING BEER TRENDS

There was a time when beer reigned supreme in the US, and wine…

Branding

Combatting Consumer Skepticism of Food

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Buzzbin1

tomdwyer.com

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…

PR Industry Trends

Real Ingredients, Real Stories

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fatface-100-percent-real

Image: fatfaceskincare.com

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…

PR Industry Trends

Haute Couture Meets Haute Cuisine

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RL

Source: nypost.com

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 authenticityAs 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…

Branding

How Millennials Are Shaping the Alcoholic Beverage Industry

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womendrinking

New Year’s Day 2016 rang in a new era for booze marketers: On January 1, all millennials were of legal drinking age.

Millennials are now between 21 and 38 years old and 79 million strong. Even without the last stragglers reaching 21, millennials consumed 159.6 million cases of wine in 2015, according to a recent report on U.S. wine drinkers from the Wine Market Council (WMC). That represents 42 percent of all the wine consumed in this country last year, more than any other age group (Baby Boomers came in second with 114.1 cases).

Last month, I wrote about WMC’s presentation on marketing to women wine drinkers. Wine Spectator’s Ben O’Donnell produced an excellent summary of the WMC millennial data specific to wine in his post here. Building on those metrics, here are my three “a-ha” moments and key takeaways for marketers seeking to reach millennial drinkers:

1. There are two types of millennials

Segmenting millennials into older (30 to 38 years old) and younger (21 to 29 years old) groups reveals substantive behavior differences when looking at wine consumption behavior. Millennials inhabit two significantly different life stages: Younger millennials…