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Written by Mackenzie
As a nation we love food – cooking, eating out, ordering in and more – and over the past year we have all certainly found comfort in our favourite food and drinks. With World Food Day (16th October) just around the corner, there’s no better time to look at how the past few years have really impacted our consumer behaviours and attitudes towards the industry. We saw shelves cleared; local butchers, farm shops and greengrocers bustling; and online businesses thriving.
With more and more food and drink businesses moving to the online world, is this having an impact on consumers’ attitudes and behaviours towards the industry? From ordering via an app, to the growth in food bloggers’ popularity and TikTok recipe tutorials, the digital world has seen a huge change since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
In this blog post, the team at Flaunt Digital discuss where they see the future of food and drink, tips on how you can strive with digital marketing, as well as sharing our survey so you can help us to discover the impact these changes are already having.
The team at Flaunt Digital have been discussing where they see the future of the food and drink industry and how the ever-changing industry is moving full steam into the digital world. We have already seen the increase in users of online food shopping, QR codes to view menus at restaurants and the abundance of food influencers taking over social media, including myself who started a food blog to review, support and help grow food and beverage businesses – something we are bound to see more of in the future.
Our Front End Web Developer, Clark Fennell says: ‘I think the industry has already started its digital transformation, with the pandemic speeding up this process. I now order food online, including my food shops, more as a matter of convenience. We are also seeing table app orders at bars and restaurants as well as more delivery apps. I think we’ll see more restaurants, bars and shops going digital in order to reach consumers.’
Our CTO, Jamie Shields, further states: ‘I think the fast food and takeaway industry is leading the way and driving innovation in digital for food and drink. Just Eat, UberEats and Deliveroo are all hugely popular and grew massively during lockdowns. In-store has also changed due to social distancing measures (such as menus online via QR codes). However, people want the same level of service that comes through social interaction, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see restaurants revert back to some elements over time (some are already offering both styles), especially in luxury and high end places.’
With the majority of our team thinking that the food and drink industry is already embracing the digital world, it’s now more important than ever to get ahead as a business and strive with your digital marketing efforts. From growing an online presence to creating rich, tasty content – knowing the basics to engage your consumers is key!.
Looking to create the tastiest content menu? Content marketing for food and drink is very similar to when you cook up your gastronomic delights. Look at the four tastes; sweet, salty, sour and bitter – when skillfully combined they create a memorable, delicious dish. The same is true for digital content marketing, so applying the four tastes effectively will truly help you stand out in this ever growing industry…
Connecting with your audience and consumers is one of the best and most important parts of content marketing – it’s the sweetest thing! Firstly, you should fully understand your target audience; ensuring you understand the social media channels they frequently use, how they usually decide where to eat, their food and drink budget and of course their interests within the world of food and beverage.
Next up, communicate effectively with your audience. When communicating with your consumers you should be telling a consistent story – one which entertains, educates and inspires. This is key for great brand recognition and to ensure your customers stay loyal. Your content marketing will only succeed if you have clearly identified your target audience and are giving them what they are searching for.
When writing content, the aim is to encourage the audience to engage further with your brand. Sometimes this means getting down to the core, adding the salty truth about difficult issues and prompting customers to take action. By identifying the most important issues that you know your consumers will care about, you can then create a content menu that is not only scrumptiously rich, but actionable, trustworthy and authoritative – it’s a key component to striving in the digital world.
Take Jamie Oliver, for example. Back in 2010 he travelled around U.S. schools and raised the issue of poor nutrition for children and campaigned for healthy foods. This brought light to the issue internationally and made people take action, making healthy dinners accessible to school children.
Authentic, brand-led content is essential to making sure your marketing strategy doesn’t ‘go off’ and leave a sour taste in customers’ mouths. The very best content marketing strategies will inform their audience just how much they matter to their brand, whilst urging them to contribute to the content.
Allowing your content to have a touch of your customers’ insights, passions and interests will ensure your content isn’t just factual but also sparks a conversation the same way food does when eating out with friends, allowing your consumers to interact with the brand further – which should always be the end goal! Engaging with your audiences consistently and mixing up your content so it doesn’t go sour will ensure your content is always fresh and stands out within the industry.
Within every industry, especially food and beverage, times change and so does taste. Trends are forever changing, with some lasting as little as a week. Take Starbucks for example – as soon as someone makes a new drink using their products, they ensure it’s on the menu as a ‘TikTok-inspired’ drink. They are always on the ball and writing new, reactive content and giving their customers what they want.
The best content marketers will never be bitter about new challenges and trends, instead they will look forward and create content that inspires and is ahead of the forever changing trends. Creating content that not only looks back to the good old days, but content that celebrates life’s changes will allow your brand to shine.
We would love it if you could take 5 minutes to complete our World Food Day survey. In this survey, you will be asked about your food and drink attitudes and behaviours, what influences your eating habits and how this may have been impacted by lockdown.