Photo source: Dutch Farms
Kids are back in school, where they should be (masked, of course!). Many professionals are returning to the office, albeit on a hybrid schedule. And air travel is picking up. But the message was loud and clear from the Marcum LLP’s panel discussion on Sept. 9, 2021, titled “Food and Beverage Innovation in a Post-Pandemic World.” That message was a clarification to the title of the event, “We are not post-pandemic,” said Jeff Swearingen, global senior vice president-demand accelerator, venturing and global business services for PepsiCo.
He explained that we are in an evolving situation with a lot of unknowns. For many, the fear of going out during the delta variant rampage is greater than one’s fear of crime. Yet, the food and beverage industry must do its best to deliver against consumers’ expectations of convenience, and with the challenged supply chain, which is ongoing, that’s difficult to do.
Communication is key, as is transparency. And part of what consumers are looking for during these uncertain times is a brand’s message of “good.”
The concept of what is “good” in food and beverage marketing is in flux, according to research from Bader Rutter Intel Distillery, Chicago, which hosted a live panel discussion on August 25 on the topic. Overall, Bader Rutter data indicate that traditional definitions like taste and nutrition are not going away but newer ones are growing in importance.
“For decades, the source of food and how it’s made hasn’t really been an important message to consumers,” said Dennis Ryan, executive creative director at Bader Rutter. “But today, between the proliferation of brands and information access—digital and social platforms—consumers can really bode and choose brands based on whether they align with their values, whether they agree with how they’re grown and produced and where they come from, and what cost it takes to produce them. So defining your good and ensuring your definition of good aligns with your core audience on the right platform is now critical to modern marketing success.”
You can read more about this topic by linking HERE to a Food Business News column I wrote on how creating and marketing “good” food is both an art and a science.