Jun 13 2014
As the world slowly recovers from the economic crisis, Europe increasingly looks to export markets for its beloved food products. Their wines have been flowing through our ports for years, helping to make the U.S. the number one consumer of vino. Other foods such as cheese and salumi have faced more challenges including domestic competition, government regulations and a lower level of consumer knowledge for their artisan products.
Education is the key for these products. The DOP and PDO systems for geographical protection are still foreign to the majority of Americans. Advertising alone cannot solve this problem. Education marketing requires an integrated approach that reaches all audiences including distributors, retailers, chefs and the end consumer for success.
Realizing the need for impactful marketing campaigns the EU made recent changes that will provide new opportunities for producers and their regional associations. Increases in total funding and co-financing contributions, along with less red tape to deal with member states will make it easier for more producers to participate in marketing campaigns.
Over the years we have managed several successful EU campaigns, including one that…
Jun 4 2014
What do Little Finger, Arya Stark, Tywin Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen and Joffrey Baratheon have in common? They all exemplify a certain trait every PR practitioner and “good” brand should have. While my examples are booze-related, the underlying principles are true for every industry. Keep reading even if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan (although the real question is: Why aren’t you?).
1. Little Finger – Be Strategic
Winter is coming, folks. Only the well-prepared will prevail. When preparing for turbulent times (a bad harvest, a spokesperson gone rogue, etc.), it’s key to have a strategy. It’s ok to change course if the situation warrants, but in order to do so, you need to know your final destination. Most underdogs are also operating on a well thought-out strategy to gain respect and influence in their industry of choice. Little Finger clearly wants to marry a Stark girl and become king– two goals almost impossible without an elaborate plan.
May 30 2014
A quick scan of FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts is enough to make you put down your lunch. While the majority of incidences tend to include undeclared ingredients, you do not need to look far to find multiple references to listeria, salmonella and E coli.
My colleague recently posted 5 Tips to prepare for a crisis, and while prevention is always the most important step you can take, how you handle a recall could make or break your brand. If not handled properly, you could at best experience a lack of consumer confidence and at worse face criminal prosecution from resulting deaths as families in the egg and cantaloupe industries recently discovered.
The FDA was granted authority for mandatory recalls under new rules in the Food Safety Modernization Act. However, this change was largely symbolic since the food industry traditionally honored voluntary recalls. This week the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed suit against USDA over their handling of salmonella in the meat supply. And as the GAO noted in 2012, communications of recalls does need to…
May 21 2014
New York City has the highest concentration of alcohol-related events in the U.S. A local listing can show three to four liquor-related events happening in just one afternoon, not to mention the plethora of industry-only events. Add to that the countless PR agencies, beverage brands and importers housed in New York and you have an enormous mishmash of factors to contend with. It’s your job to make sure your client is innovative, fun and on top of what’s next – not what’s already trending. So keep these hints in mind:
New York is big city, this means tastings don’t have to take place at the same, tired locales. Think untraditional: forget restaurants and hotels (unless they have a unique space no one knew was there). Ask photographers for ideas, they are out there shooting and see it all. Caterers are great resources too. Don’t be afraid to venture out of the typical comfort zone, if Dior can do it, so can you! Your chosen venue should always make a point and if your guests can say it was their first visit there, even better. Even if you’ve never seen an event taking place at a given…
May 6 2014
Combine alcohol, nice weather and a festival atmosphere, and voila – nine times out of ten, you’re attending a drunk fest. The kind of event you want to un-tag yourself from on Facebook the morning after. Need I say more? As the interest in craft beer grows, so does the number of events promoting the beverage. Exhibit A: The Great American Beer Festival, a legendary annual beer celebration in Denver, Colorado, sold 60,000 tickets in 20 minutes last year. That’s 3,000 (!) tickets a minute.
Unfortunately for the industry, most craft beer events don’t know how to nurture America’s interest in craft beer. An opportunity that Alex Papajohn, founder of the first Capital Ale House National Beer Expo, is hoping to seize: “The average craft beer fest provides little more than a walk-around tasting. We’ve reached a turning point in the industry that calls for more premium festivals. I want to elevate craft beer to the point where you choose to bring a great bottle of craft beer, instead of wine, to a party.” Taking cues from the wine industry, Papajohn is enriching his festival experience with satellite events, educational…
Apr 11 2014
Over the past ten years, the number of dietitians employed by supermarket retailers has grown tremendously. The midwestern-based chain, Hy-Vee, now employs a registered dietitian in almost every one of its 230-plus stores. What better place for consumers to seek dietary guidance than where they shop? The Food Marketing Institute’s Shopping for Health survey, taken by 1,500 retailers, showed that 85 percent employ dietitians at the corporate level, and about 50 percent employ dietitians regionally.
The FMI survey also reports that nearly 50 percent of shoppers are confused by information surrounding nutrition and, if they had to choose an expert to help them live healthier, most would choose a dietitian over a personal chef or a personal trainer. A few reasons why grocery-goers may utilize the services of a registered dietitian are to seek guidance on shopping for specific diet-related health concerns, for help on how to read food labels and ingredient lists, or for ways to help them create healthy meals for their families.
Supermarket dietitians wear many hats and their role(s) differ store to store. They lead found-in-store tours that teach customers how to navigate the aisles and decipher front of packing claims…
Apr 9 2014
As PR pros, we are wired to think outside the box. Many times, that’s a good thing. But when it comes to tweet chats, be predictable, do less and for the love of god, don’t be creative. After hosting more than a dozen tweet chats for wine clients, I swear by these five tips to organize a successful chat:
Apr 4 2014
I work in public relations. I classify groups of people and then determine the best way to communicate with them for a living. Literally, it’s my job. But I hate being classified.
Technically, I’m a Millennial. But I refuse to think every Millennial-based stereotype applies to me.
And, yes, my voter registration card technically identifies to which party I belong. But I seriously dislike the idea of taking a hard left or right.
And, sure, I love food. I love shopping for it, preparing it and, most of all, eating it. I think about food for a large portion of the day. I read about it, talk about it, pin about it, ‘gram about it.
I’m interested in where it comes from, how it gets to me and how it’s made. I think about the nutritional value, and how much of it is lost when I cook. But does that make me (*cringe*) a “foodie?”
Wikipedia defines a foodie as someone who “seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.” Or, as Adam from GIRLS would say:
Mar 14 2014
Last night I went to Trader Joe’s to buy milk. Sounds like a simple task, right?
This was me when I got to the milk aisle:
There were so many options, I didn’t know where to start.
Soy? I hear that’s good for you. Almond? That sounds delicious. Coconut? Will it make my skin look like I’ve been at the beach?! Rice? Hmmmm ….
Twenty minutes of hemming and hawing later, I left with a carton of each.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had that experience.
My own experimental purchase, along with that of millions of other purchasers in the past year, is a threat to real milk. It’s one of many challenges the dairy industry has to contend with in its quest to grow milk sales, which declined by about 1% in volume last year according to Euromonitor International.
While cow’s milk still dominates the market (its sales are valued at 9x that of non-dairy per Ad Age ) exotic plant-based options have crept up like a pride of lion prepping for a kill. Last year, Silk Brands, which makes…
Mar 5 2014
After six years of the Big Apple grind, my husband and I relocated to the ‘burbs of Richmond, Virginia. Working in beverage marketing, I am fully aware this is media no-man’s-land. For nearly a decade, I had been so busy catering to major market influencers that I rarely thought about the best way to engage the other half of the country (aka, the more than 115 million people living in suburbia today).
Luckily, smaller markets offer communication professionals great opportunity to score big and perhaps hit a homerun long enough to benefit activities in major markets and the overall marketing campaign at the same time.
Here are three marketing lessons I learned from suburban living: