Feb 26 2016
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…
Feb 19 2016
Over 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…
Feb 12 2016
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.
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,…
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…