Education a Key for Food Marketers

Blog, Boelter + Lincoln, Food Marketers, Food, Marketing

For many of today’s consumers, food has to be more than just calories to fill you up. It has to contribute to a healthy diet and overall lifestyle. Looking at the last meal you ate, do you know what it did for your body? How much protein it provided? How many carbs? Were there any other benefits?

Increasingly, consumers are looking into the “best foods for…” a number of different conditions or types of diets. This makes educating the consumer as important as marketing to them. What benefits does your specific product have to help the average busy-body? Is it gluten free or low-carb? Most likely, it’s not going to be the end-all to whatever it is people are looking for in their food. But marketers are changing their tactics to try and reach as many groups as they can.

People need to know that they’re getting more bang for their buck. And that means the consumer needs to hear about all of a product’s beneficial qualities. And that covers more than dietary needs. If you have a dietary restriction, there’s something out there for you. But if it also helps you function better as a human being, then you might consider purchasing what they’re selling.

Establishing positive brand equity isn’t a new concept. It has been around since the first commercial food products. However, consumers weren’t sharing information on “superfoods” on a global level until fairly recently. As a result, herbs and spices that were once anonymous are now asked-for. Turmeric is a great example. According to Google, searches for turmeric have increased 300% in the past five years. That’s because people are seeing articles, blogs and posts touting turmeric’s ability to lower the risk of cancer, fight depression and more. To capitalize on this, many brands that have long used turmeric in their recipe are now specifically calling it out, or are even adding it.

Food marketers don’t just react to consumer interest, though; in many cases they also must be food educators. Several B+L clients have taken this approach. Angelic Bakehouse, for instance, makes bread that is delicious, but that’s not its only selling point. Because it is made from sprouted grains, it is also higher in protein, lower in fats, carbohydrates and glycemic index. Therefore, much of Angelic Bakehouse’s marketing centers around explaining the benefits of sprouted grains (and specifically their sprouted mash™ ingredient) to potential consumers, as in this infographic.

As a new generation of food consumer hits the market, old brand loyalty is fading and new purchase-driving priorities are coming to light. With this shift, food marketers must adapt and make education and health values integral components of any campaign.