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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!”

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#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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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…

Wine, Food & Nutrition

Planting a New Habit on Leap Day

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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…

Digital Marketing

Out with the Coke, in with the… alcoholic Coke?

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Soda memeOver 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…

Wine, Food & Nutrition

Six Food & Beverage Ad Awards from Super Bowl 50 #SB50

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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.

PuggyIn the spirit of awards season, I’m going to offer up my own awards for this year’s food and beverage ads.

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,…