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How to best target food and drink consumers


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 6, 2012 | 3 min read

The media is saturated with advertising for food and drink, whether luxury, high-end products such as quality dark chocolate, or everyday products like breakfast cereal. The wealth and range of food and drink products out there make it an exciting, dynamic sector for marketing services agencies to be working in. But what mediums work best when targeting food and drink consumers, and where and when are they most responsive? The Drum caught up with a selection of agencies operating in the sector to gain some insight.

Tony Casson, creative director, Sphere DesignSocial marketing campaigns are something our clients are asking for more and more, and we can see a definite shift in way products are targeting prospective consumers via Facebook and Twitter. Augmented reality will have a big part to play in 2012, combining both in-store at fixture and food publications, as these are still the best mediums for instant results.
Craig Mackinlay, founder, Breeze CreativeThere isn't one best medium for targeting consumers. Consumers are all individuals who respond uniquely to different stimuli - what's good for the goose isn't always good enough for the gander. It takes a carefully controlled, planned selection of media to engage with each consumer on a personal level so ultimately they think "hey, that product's for me"!
Mike Phillipson, managing director, Big CommunicationsWith over 70% of purchasing decisions being made at the category facia the key really has to be getting the brand onto the shopping list before the consumer arrives at the ‘moment of truth’. There are so many touch-points between the armchair and the shopping basket that the approach really has to be multi-channel – for a brand to focus on one particular medium would be foolish. However, mobile in some countries has become akin to your alter-ego, so to ignore this would also be foolish. BUT the key lies in the understanding of the consumer, in order to ensure that we adopt the most appropriate methods of communication in a way that is relevant to them. 
Mark Stringer, managing director, Ahoy CreativeEntry to the store works incredibly well – just look at Krispy Kreme for the extreme of just how well that works. The product, with its wide range of toppings and colours is so enticing. Given the amount of people I see at my Local Tesco in Stockport - holding a box of doughnuts - you would think they are being given away for free.
That aside, it has to be the packaging. The battle from shelves to basket is won based on the emotive appeal of the design. Even long-term buyers can switch at the last second due to a perfectly developed packaging design catching their eye. The standard of graphic design in packaging today is incredible. For me, walking along supermarket aisles is like walking through a graphic design gallery. The sheer standard of strategy and design means that brands need to find the best branding agency they can afford. The added value of design has never been so tangible.

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