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New Website Provides Free Resources for Food Ingredient Marketers

A recently launched website designed around the needs of food ingredient marketing professionals, apfoodingredients.com, aims to help food ingredient companies overcome the challenges of customer engagement. The site provides examples of successful marketing programs that utilize industry best practices—giving visitors strategies and tactics they can utilize within their own marketing plans. It also features a blog devoted to the food ingredient industry, indepth, as well as industry news from a variety of prominent food ingredient publications.

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Developed by Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing (APFIM), the site lets marketing professionals gain insights on a variety of topics including: marketing campaigns, trends, industry events and best practices in food ingredient marketing. A portfolio shows best practice examples that have been pivotal in successful marketing programs. Visitors can also search the site for articles and resources they need to help them identify opportunities to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Mark Hughes, president of APFIM, stated, “With the launch of this new website, our audience can access resources to help them develop effective marketing campaigns aimed at enterprise-wide customer engagement. Having worked with some of the industry’s largest food ingredient companies, we know what matters most to the different B-to-B audiences and how companies can adapt their marketing communication models in an ever-evolving market landscape.”

Top 5 Tips for Fighting the Food Babe and Opinion-driven Activists

Our series on “Food Science vs. the Food Babe—Who Controls the Story?” has drawn a lot of spirited response from the food-science community in support of pushing back against the uninformed and unscientific opinions of misguided food activists like the Food Babe. Many of the comments that we have received have asked about the best ways for food marketers to respond to these kinds of opinion-driven attacks. This week, our series concludes with a new infographic featuring the top five communication tips to use when you have a strong and important food-science story to tell.

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Food Science vs. Food Babe—Who Controls the Story? Part 2

Our series on “Food Science vs. Food Babe—Who Controls the Story?” continues this week with a new infographic featuring more examples of opinion-based advocates who ignore established food science as they seek to demonize food ingredients and food companies. This week, our examples include Dr. Oz and his misguided attacks on GMOs along with another example of the Food Babe missing the point—this time on beer ingredients. Let us know what you think.

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Who Controls the Story? Part 1

The food industry has struggled recently with how to use established food-science knowledge to combat the opinion-based advocacy from media celebrities and food activists such as the Food Babe and Dr. Oz. To help food ingredient marketers deal with this issue, we are launching a new series of infographics comparing the actual food science to the media-driven opinions around food ingredients like Boneless Lean Beef and Azodicarbonamide. Our series will continue over the next three weeks and will include tips and techniques for how food ingredient companies can respond to the challenges of opinion-driven food activists.

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New Website Provides Free Resources for Food Ingredient Marketers

A recently launched website designed around the needs of food ingredient marketing professionals, apfoodingredients.com, aims to help food ingredient companies overcome the challenges of customer engagement. The site provides examples of successful marketing programs that utilize industry best practices—giving visitors strategies and tactics they can utilize within their own marketing plans. It also features a blog devoted to the food ingredient industry, indepth, as well as industry news from a variety of prominent food ingredient publications.

APFIMNewWebsitePressReleaseDeveloped by Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing (APFIM), the site lets marketing professionals gain insights on a variety of topics including: marketing campaigns, trends, industry events and best practices in food ingredient marketing. A portfolio shows best practice examples that have been pivotal in successful marketing programs. Visitors can also search the site for articles and resources they need to help them identify opportunities to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Mark Hughes, president of APFIM, stated, “With the launch of this new website, our audience can access resources to help them develop effective marketing campaigns aimed at enterprise-wide customer engagement. Having worked with some of the industry’s largest food ingredient companies, we know what matters most to the different B-to-B audiences and how companies can adapt their marketing communication models in an ever-evolving market landscape.”

Carmi Flavors Uses Channel-specific Email Marketing to Target Customers and Prospects

We are always on the lookout for good content-marketing campaigns. One of the platforms we look to is email. Email marketing is considered a best practice to use for generating sales leads. Since most people, on average, receive over a hundred emails a day, email marketing can have its challenges. But, those challenges can easily be overcome with the right message, creative visuals and relevant links to sources of information for customers and prospects.

Carmi Flavors E-newslettersCarmi Flavors uses targeted email marketing, broken out by channels like Beverage, Bakery, Pizza and Restaurant, to reach its customers and prospects. We recently received an e-newsletter from Carmi Flavors called Beverage Exchange. The e-newsletter focused on the marketplace and industry news topics that would be of interest to its beverage manufacturer customers and prospects. The e-newsletter had a table of contents, with each headline linking to the relevant article or heading within the e-newsletter, allowing readers to easily navigate the content based on their interest. In addition to interactive and engaging content, Carmi Flavors also incorporated a beverage application photo—another best practice in the food ingredient industry.

Aside from distributing the e-newsletter, Carmi Flavors posts a link to the web version of the e-newsletter on its website, along with the other channel-specific e-newsletters it distributes.

By using targeted email marketing campaigns, Carmi Flavors can showcase its knowledge of each channel and provide relevant information to the specific food manufacturers its sales teams are targeting. Many sales forces find it difficult to penetrate R&D, product development and marketing departments on their own. With the use of email marketing, sales teams are provided a detailed tracking report that shows them who has opened and clicked on links within the email—what we would consider a follow-up list of qualified leads.

Carmi Flavors provides us a great example of the best practice of using email marketing to target customers and prospects to generate qualified sales leads. To learn more about this best practice as well as other industry best practices, click here to request a copy of our Best Practice Research Report for food ingredient marketers, or if email marketing is something you’d like more information on and want help incorporating it into your marketing communications, let us know.

Land O’Lakes Green Chile Queso Sample Packaging Has Some Kick

Over the years, we’ve received numerous product samples from food ingredient companies and routinely, they arrive in plain baggies or boxes with simple product labels. We feel these particular sample packages—ones that land in the hands of customers—are missed opportunities for brand reinforcement and targeted sales messaging. As an industry best practice, branding product sample packaging will make a lasting impression among the customers and prospects who receive your samples.

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A great example of this industry best practice is one we recently received from Land O’Lakes Ingredients. For the introduction of their new Green Chile Queso dairy seasoning, Land O’Lakes Ingredients mailed out a sample package that consisted of a branded box with an engaging call-to-action message that said “Check inside for another bright idea from Land O’Lakes Ingredients.”

Along with the branding on the outside of the box, the inside of the lid contained a strong marketing message and also featured a branded trifold brochure that defined the ingredient product and sample application within the package. The brochure also had a call-to-action that provided customers and prospects the contact information to learn more and/or order the Green Chile Queso dairy seasoning.

In addition to the branded box and collateral, each of the samples contained a branded label that clearly detailed the contents of the container. The Green Chile Queso tortilla chips application sample had a simple white label with the Land O’Lakes Ingredients logo, while the Green Chile Queso dairy seasoning sample had a branded label that matched the look and feel of the brochure and box it was shipped in.

All in all, Land O’Lakes Ingredients’ Green Chile Queso sample package is a great example of turning a product sample package into a customer communication tool that reinforces the brand and delivers a strong targeted message.

Visit our website to learn more about the industry best practice of branding your product sample packaging. To get a detailed analysis of marketing communications in the food ingredients industry, click here to request a copy of our Best Practice Research Report for food ingredient marketers.

iTi Tropicals Launches Coconut Water Concentrate Website to Help Developers Take Advantage of the Growing Coconut Water Trend

iTi Tropicals, Inc., a leading U.S. supplier of processed exotic tropical fruits, recently launched a new website to help developers better understand coconut water concentrate and the benefits of incorporating it as an ingredient in their products.

Coconut Water Concentrate - Website

Natural coconut water is the water inside of a coconut. It is naturally filtered for nine to twelve months through the dense fibers of the coconut creating a nutritious, pure and refreshing isotonic beverage. Coconut water is naturally sterile and has five essential electrolytes, more potassium than a banana, no added sugars, no fat, no cholesterol and no preservatives. It is excellent for replacing lost electrolytes from exercise and illness. It may be incorporated into many beverage applications and is regarded as a natural sports drink.

For developers who want to compare the cost and calories for several ingredients, or see a more comprehensive cost and calorie calculation for new beverage development, they can click on the tab for the product ingredient calculator, pictured below. In addition to the calculator, developers can also access FAQs, application ideas and coconut water news on the website.

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When selecting a source for coconut water, iTi Tropicals, Inc. urges customers to carry out authenticity testing to make sure no sugars, additives and/or preservatives are added. “At iTi Tropicals, nothing is added to our coconut water concentrate—no sugars, no citric acid, no potassium and no sulfur dioxide. We know where and how it is produced, from plantation to coconut water concentrate, and we give our customers confidence in declaring ‘no sugar added’ on their products,” states Gert van Manen, president of iTi Tropicals, Inc.

iTi Tropicals, Inc. has led the way in providing the food industry with conventional coconut water concentrate 60 brix and has added organic coconut water concentrate, young coconut water, acidified coconut water and soon will introduce an acerola acidified coconut water concentrate, providing 100% daily value for vitamin C.

Chiquita Fruit Solutions Wins Best Sustainability Initiative in Juice Award

Sustainability is one of the most important themes for all parts of the food and beverage industry—and juice is no exception. FOODNEWS World Juice recently awarded Chiquita Fruit Solutions the Best Sustainability Initiative in Juice Award for their passion fruit small-grower initiative. FOODNEWS World Juice held their annual conference in Cologne, Germany on Oct. 2-4 where their esteemed judging panel recognized Chiquita Fruit Solutions as the organization that has done the most to enhance the impact of the juice industry on the environment and society.           

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Chiquita Fruit Solutions won the award for developing the passion fruit small-grower initiative to improve the resource efficiency, minimize carbon footprint and to better share economic benefits throughout the supply chain. Through their initiative, Chiquita Fruit Solutions demonstrated impact on environmental performance and society and were innovative in finding solutions to common industry problems.

Revolutionizing the juice and fruit industry with their passion fruit small-grower initiative, Chiquita Fruit Solutions teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance to teach hundreds of Costa Rican farmers how to grow passion fruit for a living wage as opposed to subsistence farming. With the project underway for the past three years, farm families have strengthened as they’ve learned how to better protect the environment and gain financial control of their lives. For more information on the passion fruit small-grower initiative, visit the Chiquita Fruit Solutions website and watch their video to see firsthand how this win-win project has benefited customers, Chiquita Fruit Solutions as a supplier, and most importantly the lives of their farmers.

Land O’Lakes, Inc. Hires Anderson Partners for Business-to-Business Marketing Communications of Ingredients

Land O’Lakes, Inc. has hired Anderson Partners to help with their global business-to-business marketing communications efforts.

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Land O’Lakes, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., offers food manufacturers worldwide quality dairy ingredients. With a continuous milk supply from their 3,200 dairy farmer members and control over a vast supply chain, Land O’Lakes, Inc. ensures a consistent, quality supply of dairy ingredients for its customers. Its ingredient offerings include cheese, milk powder, butter, whey, cheese powders and seasonings.

Jim Jarman, marketing and sales leader for the Ingredients Team at Land O’Lakes, Inc., stated that Anderson Partners Food Ingredients was hired “because we were very impressed with their depth of food ingredient experience and past successes. We know that their knowledge will be a valuable asset for our company and for our marketing communications goals.”

Mark Hughes, president of Anderson Partners, said, “We are very proud to have been chosen as Land O’Lakes, Inc.’s marketing communications partner. We are excited to be part of the Land O’Lakes team and are looking forward to helping them communicate the quality of their ingredients and value of their expertise to their global audience.”

Salt Swap Initiative is Leading the Way in Australia’s Sodium Reduction

Recently we received a newsletter from Nu-Tek Salt Australasia—Nu-Tek Food Science’s Australasia partner— highlighting a new program, Drop the Salt Lithgow and its exciting health initiative, Salt Swap Lithgow. This program has been featured in the Lithgow Mercury news and is supported by The George Institute for Global Health, Lithgow City Council, local business and Nu-Tek Food Science, to help address Australia’s excessive salt consumption levels.

Pictured (from left to right): Jason Cummings, Nu-Tek Salt Australasia; Lithgow Black Panther; Maree Statham, Lithgow mayor; and Mary-Anne Land, The George Institute for Global Health.
Pictured (from left to right): Jason Cummings, Nu-Tek Salt Australasia; Lithgow Black Panther; Maree Statham, Lithgow mayor; and Mary-Anne Land, The George Institute for Global Health.

The Salt Swap initiative is an innovative campaign to reduce salt intake by “swapping” household table salt for Salt for Life™ Sea Salt Blend—a new sea salt blend with 70 percent less sodium than table salt. The campaign also includes reformulation of locally produced processed foods and using the FoodSwitch Smartphone application to help people make better food choices in the supermarket.

Drop the Salt Lithgow aims to reduce salt intake by 10 percent and is part of a broader initiative—supported by the World Health Organization (WHO)—seeking to identify scalable and sustainable salt-reduction policies that can be applied nationally and internationally.

To learn more about the Drop the Salt Lithgow community initiative and to join in their discussions, “Like” their Facebook page.

New iTi Tropicals YouTube Channel: A Great Source for Information on Exotic Tropical Fruits

iTi Tropicals has launched a YouTube channel for food product developers that contains lively and informative videos—providing an in-depth look at some of the on-trend and timely issues regarding popular tropical fruits being used in various food and beverage formulations and applications.

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“Our new YouTube channel will allow us to share our worldwide knowledge on exotic tropical fruits with our customers and industry friends,” said Gert van Manen, president of iTi Tropicals.  Some of the new videos on the iTi Tropicals YouTube channel are:

– Guava – The Video—a five-minute overview of the Chiveria guava fruit that begins on the largest plantation in Ecuador and shows details of the sustainable farming and harvesting practices behind this premium fruit. The video also includes information on processing and production along with packaging of the Chiveria guava in convenient forms like purees, concentrates and essences flavored by product developers for a variety of food and beverage applications.

– Foodnews Juice Asia Address on Coconut Water Product Purity and Sustainability—the video of van Manen’s speech to the May 2013 symposium in Bangkok, Thailand, covers current coconut water trends including issues of ethical sourcing, sustainability and authenticity.

– Red Dragon Fruit Plantation in Thailand—a video showing what a red dragon fruit plantation looks like.

– Coconut Water and Coconut Meat—a lab demonstration showing how to utilize coconut meat for coconut water applications.

“We plan to introduce new videos on a regular basis that will feature more information on the variety of exotic tropical fruits available to product developers from around the world,” said van Manen. “We hope our customers and friends will visit the YouTube channel often to see our latest offerings.”

The iTi Tropicals YouTube channel is available at http://www.youtube.com/user/iTitropicalsInc.

Chiquita Fruit Solutions is Spinnovating

Chiquita Spinnovator

To help promote fresh ideas in fruit flavors, Chiquita Fruit Solutions launched their online interactive tool, the Chiquita SpinnovatorTM, at the RCA show in Charlotte, NC back in March.

Housed on the Chiquita Fruit Solutions website, the Spinnovator allows users to experiment and open their imaginations to develop unique applications using Chiquita’s five fruit ingredients: banana, passion fruit, mango, pineapple and papaya.

The first step to the Spinnovator is selecting a fruit ingredient—the inner wheel. Based on the fruit ingredient you’ve selected, the middle wheel populates a colorful arrangement of flavors that complement the fruit ingredient. The outer wheel has a multitude of top-trending applications to choose from that are broken out by meal and daypart categories: Breakfast, Entrée (Lunch/Dinner), Side, Dessert, Beverage and Condiment.

Another feature of the Spinnovator is the random spin. If you’re looking for a specific application or flavor, you can lock the applicable wheel on your selection and let the wheel spin its way to something innovative. If you’re inspired by what you’ve created, you can save it to a list and email it to yourself or share it through social media.

Visit the Chiquita Fruit Solutions website to Spinnovate a fresh idea and comment below on what unique application has opened your imagination.

 

Favorite Chefs on the Internet

“Chefs are incredibly important future leaning reflectors of where food flavors, preparation and health are headed. Chefs are the food educators of our time.” That’s according to Food Culture 2012, a report from the Hartman Group. Chefs have always played an important role in new food product development and their role in the commercial ingredient channels of the food industry has continued to grow. We previously wrote about a trade show hit for Sunkist Growers who featured a celebrity chef’s new dishes at the PMA Show in California.

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Chefs have also taken a leading role in using the Internet to communicate with their fans and followers as well as with their peers and colleagues. We see leading chefs everywhere on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and of course the ubiquitous Facebook. Recently we posted a tweet to our Twitter feed @markhughesfood that asked the question “Who is your favorite chef on Twitter?” The tweet drew far more comments, re-tweets and favorites than normal. In response, here are our favorite chefs on the Internet:

Mario Batali

Molto Mario uses a great recipe for his Internet activity and gets terrific online engagement from his fans and peers. His main website has rich and varied content on his various properties and projects including links to all his social media platforms. But it’s on Twitter where the chef really shines. His Twitter feed @mariobatali is a lively blend of recipe tips and answers to fans questions about various dishes. His Twitter feed also contains his recommendations for ingredients and favorite haunts. The sheer volume of Chef Batali’s tweets suggest he has help with this, but the comments never lose the personality and charm that people expect from Mario.

Robert Danhi

Chef Robert Danhi is off on an adventure to search out great flavors and tastes and uses the Internet to effectively report on his progress and share his discoveries with friends and followers. His main website offers rich content on his focus of Asian dishes and local flavors. A companion site offers products and more content on Southeast Asian flavors. The chef’s Twitter handle is, of course,@chefdanhitweets and he actively uses Twitter to send greetings to friends and colleagues from his travels around the globe. He is also very generous with his time and knowledge, often sharing content with food bloggers and reporters. Here’s a recent local article from Rasa Malaysia on “Cooking with Chef Robert Danhi.

Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin is, simply put, my favorite chef anywhere. So of course, that includes the Internet. Chef Pepin’s La Technique has held an honored spot in my kitchen for 25 years and I continue to use it today. It continues to be one of the all-time best selling cook books. Chef Pepin has a robust presence on the Internet mainly through his instructional videos. Here’s one for a very Pepin-like omelet. His videos cover a wide range of ingredients and finished dishes and are all presented in the chef’s calm and self-assured voice and style. According to a recent NY Times article, when it comes to food preparation, “There is the wrong way and there is Jacques Pepin’s way.

We love all chefs on the Internet. These three are our favorites. Who is your favorite Chef on the Internet?

Social Media Marketing Best Practices from Kretchmar’s Bakery

Baking Channel - BakeThe Baking Channel on bakemag.com recently launched a social media video that featured Kretchmar’s Bakery from Beaver, PA. This video is a part of their tour, Discovering America’s Bakeries.

Lincoln Kretchmar, of Kretchmar’s Bakery, discussed why his company invested in social media and also shared some best practices he follows regarding social media marketing:

  • Social media is great for marketing and branding and can help build up your image.
  • It is a cost-effective way to communicate effectively with customers.
  • Post frequently—Kretchmar’s Bakery currently posts at least once a week.
  • Social media can be ineffective if done wrong—only post things that are engaging to your audience. It is about what is pertinent to your customers, not necessarily what is pertinent to you.

By following these best practices, Kretchmar’s Bakery has been effective in building relationships with its customers and increasing the bakery’s brand exposure. We’d love to hear what social media marketing best practices you follow and the success you’ve had. Leave us a comment below!

Chiquita Fruit Solutions: Open Your Imagination

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Chiquita Fruit Solutions offered product developers the opportunity to “Open Your Imagination” with a recent sampling program on their new Fruit Crumbles—a 100 percent natural, air-crisped fruit ingredient product with a wide range of surprising food applications.

To capture the attention of Chiquita Fruit Solutions’ customers and to stretch their imaginations, the sample packaging and its contents were designed to help expand the possibilities for customer applications.

Since the shipping box was the first piece of marketing collateral seen by customers, Chiquita Fruit Solutions followed industry best practices and made sure their company name and messaging was visible by labeling all four sides of the box with the Chiquita Fruit Solutions logo, a headline stating, “All Natural Fruit Crumbles,” and an application image with the text “Open Your Imagination.”

Contained in the box were well-labeled Banana Crumbles and Fruit Chips, Tropical Mix Crumbles and Fruit Chips, and Pineapple Rings. The sample package also included a brochure that provided customers with a list of product features, nutritional information and contact information to learn more about Chiquita Fruit Crumbles.

By following the industry’s best practices on sample packaging, Chiquita Fruit Solutions was able to reinforce their brand and deliver a targeted message to their customers—and hopefully open some imaginations.

 

California Raisins Hold Fifth Annual Contest

California Raisin

California Raisins are back again with their successful, annual America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest. This year marks the fifth year for professional and student bakers to submit up to three original raisin bread formulas into the contest.

As you may have read in our previous blog posts regarding their annual contest, this year, rather than use video marketing to promote their event, California Raisin sent an email with photos of last years category and grand prize winners. This is a great way to encourage participation from bakers and student bakers as it showcases their peers, and gives them the inspiration and determination to be one of the nine winners to receive industry recognition for their work, as well as a five-day trip to sunny California.

California Raisin has done a great job of using fresh marketing tactics year over year to help promote their America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest. We’d love to hear about the different marketing tactics you’re using to promote your events. Leave us a comment below!

 

Ingredion New Brand Name for Corn Products/National Starch

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June was a big month for Corn Products/National Starch with the launch of their new company name, Ingredion.

Our team received an email from the Ingredion marketing team announcing their new name in early June. This email announcement dropped in the midst of Corn Product/National Starch’s campaign to promote their booth presence at IFT. The email did a great job of explaining what the name change would mean for Corn Product/National Starch’s current and potential customers.

The email also provided a link to a short video clip to further showcase what Ingredion would bring to its customers. In a little over two minutes, the video welcomes viewers to a new day by using graphics to show what they can do for their clients and what differentiates them in the industry.

Even though Ingredion states it has brought together the best of Corn Products and National Starch, each brand still has their own website. These two websites are both branded Ingredion and have consistent messaging. Since Ingredion is built on bringing together the best of Corn Products and National Starch, it will be interesting to see how long it takes before the two websites become one.

 

 

America’s Best Bakery Contest from bake Magazine

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bake magazine recently held a contest to find America’s best bakery. The contest included six bakery finalists who were chosen by the bake editorial team.

Each bakery owner created a short video where they talked about what they felt made their bakery the best in America. For example, Dan Busken, from Busken Bakery, felt the transparency in management was something of value to share with voters. Rather than discuss what products the bakery offers, Busken shared how he keeps his employees informed by holding an annual company meeting. In another video, Dennis Meyer, from Das Meyer Fine Pastry Chalet, used his video to show how his bakery creates their macaroon sushi pastry. Meyer’s video was very different from Busken’s because it had more of a “baking show” feel.

This contest was a great tool to support the “best” bakeries across the country and provide them the chance to showcase what truly makes them the best. Even though the main goal for bake magazine was to find America’s best bakery, they also acknowledged the readers who voted by enrolling them into a drawing for a free iPad 2. The polls closed March 31, and the winner of the America’s Best Bakery Contest will be announced in the magazine’s May issue.

Bioenergy Ribose Landing Page Features Applications

Bioenergy Ribose, a bioactive ingredient that energizes functional foods and beverages, recently launched a landing page for food manufacturers and developers called The Sweet Taste of Innovation.
Bioenergy Ribose Landing Page

Food applications on the page draw you in. As you move your cursor towards a particular dish, a note card pops out from underneath the plate of goodies with information on the enhanced health benefit Bioenergy Ribose provides. When it comes to marketing a food ingredient, a best practice is to focus on applications to engage your audience and Bioenergy Ribose did just that on their landing page.

There are two options for customers to learn more about how the ingredient functions as an energy source. On one side of the page, there is a notebook titled “The Science of Ribose” linking directly to a downloadable PDF that goes into detail of how Bioenergy Ribose functions as an energy source. And if that’s too scientific and technical, the opposite side of the landing page provides a Post-it note that links you to a small screen with a simplified, easy to understand version of how it all works. Another Post-it note lets you request a sample.

The Bioenergy Ribose landing page is user-friendly and visitors to the site can easily find what they are looking for, whether it’s to request a sample or to learn more about how Bioenergy Ribose functions as an energy source.

 

National Starch New Ingredient Guide

The choices are endless for food manufacturers when it comes to finding ingredients for new products, improving existing formulations or when looking to save on costs through ingredient replacement or processing efficiencies. To help make these decisions easier, the National Starch Food Innovation/Corn Products International recently published the 2012 edition of its “How to Choose Food Starches” guide.

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The guide cross-references a broad line of ingredients with applications across all prepared food and beverage categories. It’s arranged by food segments and divided into subsegments for ease of navigation. Whether the goal is to improve texture, increase shelf life, have a clean label status, enhance nutrition or optimize processing costs, this helpful, user-friendly booklet provides a range of solutions for customers’ formulation needs.

Not only is the guide easy to use, gaining access to it from National Starch Food Innovation’s website is simple. To download a free copy of the booklet, all that’s required is your name, company name and email address. They even give you the option to opt-in to their email list.

The tools and resources don’t stop there. If there are still questions as to which ingredient to choose,National Starch Food Innovation’s technical service team, sensory experts, culinologists, nutritionists and marketers provide hands-on support to help create an ingredient system that will deliver the best results.

National Starch Food Innovation/Corn Products International is doing a great job of educating customers and giving them the tools and resources to fully benefit from their products. Are you doing something similar for your customers? We’d love to hear about the support you offer your customers and the feedback you receive. Let us know by commenting below!

You’ve Got Mail! Using Email to Promote Traditional Marketing

King Arthur Baking SheetWhen it comes to promoting a traditional media tactic, for example, a monthly subscription newsletter, one of the best ways to engage an audience is to use a new media tactic, such as an email blast.

King Arthur® Flour recently sent an email blast encouraging readers to subscribe to their 24-page bimonthly newsletter, The Baking Sheet®. By purchasing a 1-year or 2-year subscription, all six of the 2011 issues can be purchased for only $5.

The email blast features application photography, a short description that highlights the contents of The Baking Sheet newsletter and a link to a webpage where readers can purchase a subscription.

To further entice readers to subscribe to the newsletter, the email also contains a link to a blog post containing step-by-step photos and instructions for recipes to make pottage, rieska bread and horseradish sauce. If you weren’t hungry before reading the blog post, you will be afterwards.

The email blast even contains social media links to share or repost the recipes and subscription deal.

King Arthur Flour has provided a great example of how to engage clients by encouraging a subscription to traditional marketing using a modern communication tactic. We’d love to hear if you still use traditional marketing tactics with your clients, how they’ve been working for your company and what you do to promote them. Leave us a comment below!

Our Favorite Chefs on the Internet

“Chefs are incredibly important future leaning reflectors of where food flavors, preparation and health are headed. Chefs are the food educators of our time.” That’s according to Food Culture 2012, a report from the Hartman Group. Chefs have always played an important role in new food product development and their role in the commercial ingredient channels of the food industry has continued to grow. We previously wrote about a trade show hit for Sunkist Growers who featured a celebrity chef’s new dishes at the PMA Show in California.

ChefTwitterLarge

Chefs have also taken a leading role in using the Internet to communicate with their fans and followers as well as with their peers and colleagues. We see leading chefs everywhere on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and of course the ubiquitous Facebook. Recently we posted a tweet to our Twitter feed @markhughesfood that asked the question “Who is your favorite chef on Twitter?” The tweet drew far more comments, re-tweets and favorites than normal. In response, here are our favorite chefs on the Internet:

Mario Batali

Molto Mario uses a great recipe for his Internet activity and gets terrific online engagement from his fans and peers. His main website has rich and varied content on his various properties and projects including links to all his social media platforms. But it’s on Twitter where the chef really shines. His Twitter feed @mariobatali is a lively blend of recipe tips and answers to fans questions about various dishes. His Twitter feed also contains his recommendations for ingredients and favorite haunts. The sheer volume of Chef Batali’s tweets suggest he has help with this, but the comments never lose the personality and charm that people expect from Mario.

Robert Danhi

Chef Robert Danhi is off on an adventure to search out great flavors and tastes and uses the Internet to effectively report on his progress and share his discoveries with friends and followers. His main website offers rich content on his focus of Asian dishes and local flavors. A companion site offers products and more content on Southeast Asian flavors. The chef’s Twitter handle is, of course,@chefdanhitweets and he actively uses Twitter to send greetings to friends and colleagues from his travels around the globe. He is also very generous with his time and knowledge, often sharing content with food bloggers and reporters. Here’s a recent local article from Rasa Malaysia on “Cooking with Chef Robert Danhi.

Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin is, simply put, my favorite chef anywhere. So of course, that includes the Internet. Chef Pepin’s La Technique has held an honored spot in my kitchen for 25 years and I continue to use it today. It continues to be one of the all-time best selling cook books. Chef Pepin has a robust presence on the Internet mainly through his instructional videos. Here’s one for a very Pepin-like omelet. His videos cover a wide range of ingredients and finished dishes and are all presented in the chef’s calm and self-assured voice and style. According to a recent NY Times article, when it comes to food preparation, “There is the wrong way and there is Jacques Pepin’s way.

We love all chefs on the Internet. These three are our favorites. Who is your favorite Chef on the Internet?

ADM Uses Email Marketing to Sell B2B Services

ADM email

ADM, a large agricultural processor, serves as a link between farmers and consumers. The company works to process crops into food ingredients and other products.

Recently, we received an email blast promoting their ADM Investor Services. Targeting the food ingredient industry, ADM promoted their global risk management services.

This email blast informs readers of ADM’s hedging strategies that help producers and users protect themselves from price risk. Offered within the email, is a downloadable white paper that covers the strategy of managing price risk through hedging commodities.

Through the use of email marketing, ADM sells their service while positioning themselves as a big food ingredient player in the market who provides high level services for their customers.

Use Multiple Publishing Platforms to Communicate Your Message

MalaysiavirgoOur food ingredient team has previously blogged about email blasts being sent from the Sosland Publishing platform. We’d also like to showcase this Malaysia Palm Oil Solution Center email blast sent by the VIRGO Publishing platform. This e-mail, sponsored by The Malaysian Palm Oil Council, promotes a landing page (designed by VIRGO) and contains facts, links, slideshows and videos on this important vegetable oil.

While there are various food ingredient publishers out there, it’s important to remember them all when communicating your message. Using different publisher platforms when it comes time to blast your email, often means distributing your information to different and additional audiences. Reaching your readers by utilizing different e-mail lists can mean extended reach for your company. It’s just as important as utilizing different marketing tactics in order to get your message heard!

Baking Buyer Email Blast Stars California Raisins

BBuyer

We recently received the latest email blast from bakingbuyer.com, which focuses on Discovering America’s Bakeries. Sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board, Baking Buyer provides a weekly look at bakers across the U.S., highlighting their success stories and business insights.

This latest email features a visit to the historic Graeter’s Bakery in Cincinnati, and includes a video, discussing their need for consistent branding and the processes they took to revitalize the marketing centered around their bakery.

The remainder of the email blast showcases baking news, specifically including a three-part video series informing viewers on a new product from the California Raisin Marketing Board. These product demonstrations, filmed with a chef, show all of the necessary steps for making breakfast bread.

This email is another unique way to reach customers and also provide a direct path back to your company’s website. It also provides a very interactive experience for the reader, via the high-quality and informative selection of videos.

Food Ingredient Companies Offer Thanksgiving Leftover Solutions

Thanksgiving may have come and gone, but chances are, your fridge is still full of turkey and side dishes from the big day. ConAgra Foods is quick to offer ideas on how to serve up your turkey day leftovers in their recent ReadySetEat email blast.

ReadySetEat

This helpful email blast contains recipes such as turkey sloppy joes, turkey and stuffing enchiladas, turkey frittata, and turkey taco soup. All recipes clearly display the prep time, number of ingredients and total cook time. Recipe links click straight to a page displaying a delicious photo of the completed meal, ratings by other viewers, nutrition information, directions and the ability to print the recipe or email it to friends.

In addition to these Thanksgiving meal ideas, ConAgra Foods offers a link to their ReadySetEat mobile site, where visitors can select their favorite ingredients and get relevant recipes and also find locations that offer the best sale prices on those specific ingredients.

And if you’ve had your fill of Thanksgiving leftovers, ConAgra Foods even offers a $1 off coupon for their new Healthy Choice Top Chef-inspired Café Steamers®.

Another food ingredient company, King Arthur Flour, distributed a Thanksgiving email blast that also offers three ways to repurpose your turkey leftovers.

King Arthur Email

This email blast shows readers how to make turkey tetrazzini, turkey chili hand pies and turkey dumplings. Each food feature showcases a photo of the completed dish, links to the complete recipe and a blog link that sends the reader to a post capturing step-by-step photos and instructions from a King Arthur blogger or baker.

King Arthur Flour and ConAgra Foods have both provided smart, timely and informative email campaigns that capitalize on the Thanksgiving food and innovative leftover meal ideas that so many of us are looking for.

BakeMark E-zine Showcases Rockin’ Bakers

Anderson Partners Food Ingredients has previously highlighted BakeMark’s advertising tactics, and we were excited to receive an email invitation to view BakeMark’s latest edition of their digital magazine, Bakin’ n Rockin’.

bakinrockin

The playful email blast provides an all-access link to BakeMark’s latest e-zine, which spotlights one influential baker, showcases their creations and offers a brief business background. The e-zine also contains features on production ideas, merchandising tips and product trends.

This monthly online publication has a great playful spin, draws readers to the content and even contains animation that helps make for an interesting, interactive read. This tactic is a great way to give customers the spotlight, while encouraging readers to discover more about the industry or stay in tune with the latest production information. We give BakeMark a standing ovation!

Chiquita Tropicals Free Fruit Chips Sample Offer

Chiquita Tropicals, the tropical fruit ingredient group for global Chiquita Brands in Cincinnati, launched a new landing page that offers free product samples of their new, 100% all-natural Fruit Chips featuring bananas, mangos and pineapples. The site is targeted at food manufacturing R&D, product developers and research chefs looking for innovative tropical fruit solutions to enhance their product applications. These chips are just one of the many fruit ingredient products that Chiquita Tropicals provides for its commercial customers. Click here for your free Fruit Chips sample.

STEP1

The landing page provides direct links to information on products and application ideas for food developers and manufacturers. The sample request function offers a simple, direct connection for customers to receive a free sample. This tactic is a great tool to get customers interested and engaged in what Chiquita Tropicals can do for their products.

Chiquita Tropicals launched the new Fruit Chips sample offer at the Anuga trade show, held in Germany in early October. The new Fruit Chips landing page is supported by email, social media marketing and collateral pieces that feature a QR Code for quick access to a full mobile version of the landing page.

Mobile

The multiple platforms and integrated support makes this campaign very user friendly for customers. Chiquita Tropicals has given their customers and prospects a real reason to connect and engage with their new Fruit Chips sample offer.

ConAgra Mills’ Efforts Raise Awareness on Childhood Hunger

ConAgra Mills has been hard at work, raising money and spreading a message to increase awareness of childhood hunger. Six custom-designed rail cars were created in partnership with General American Transportation Corp. and Feeding America. The rail cars read, “1 in 4 children in America struggles with hunger. Join us and donate at feedingamerica.org.” Each rail car will travel across the United States on more than 25,000 miles of track.

Mills Rail CarAs these rail cars provide advertising to raise awareness and funding, scale-model replicas are also on display in The Great Train Story, an exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

In other fundraising efforts, Mills hosted its second annual summer charity golf tournament. The tournament raised $100,000 for Feeding America and will specifically support the food bank’s BackPack Program, which provides weekend meals to children in need.

Mills hopes that their fundraising events and custom rail cars will urge others in the industry to join their efforts to fight childhood hunger and become involved in solution efforts.

Mills Rail Car

As these rail cars provide advertising to raise awareness and funding, scale-model replicas are also on display in The Great Train Story, an exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

In other fundraising efforts, Mills hosted its second annual summer charity golf tournament. The tournament raised $100,000 for Feeding America and will specifically support the food bank’s BackPack Program, which provides weekend meals to children in need.

Mills hopes that their fundraising events and custom rail cars will urge others in the industry to join their efforts to fight childhood hunger and become involved in solution efforts.

QR Codes Grow Up at Food Trade Shows

The use of QR codes at food ingredient trade shows and manufacturer expos has increased dramatically over the past year. Mobile apps offered and promoted by the actual show presenters and producers have proliferated. More mobile use overall has increased the audience demand for apps like QR code readers, and as a result, more food ingredient marketers have begun to use the Quick Response codes to drive traffic to their traditional websites and to new mobile sites and landing pages.

Last June, the 2011 IFT Show in New Orleans showcased IFT’s latest generation trade show app with IFT11, which allowed users to access all the conference information, schedules and literature on one easy platform. Yet despite featuring convenient conference access and tools for managing appointments and exhibitor contact info, the IFT11 app only attracted about 500 users from a conference with over 15,000 attendees.

One reason for the low numbers may be slow adaptation of mobile app technology by many corporate IT customers. Our firm introduced a QR code promotion at IFT with limited results. Many food company executive told us that their corporate IT department didn’t support iPhone or smart phone technologies, or told us, “My IT guys won’t let us have apps like QR code readers.”

However, at the August PMA Food Service Conference and Expo in Monterey, it seemed like nearly everybody had a smart phone with a QR code reader app. The produce industry has been more active in using bar code and QR code technologies on their packaging and in their traceability systems, so it makes sense that there would be greater adoption of mobile technology in the produce channel.

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IFT and PMA, and nearly every other food expo this year, have also seen an increasing number of exhibitor booths using QR codes on their trade show literature and even on their booth designs. Charles Shafae, of dProduce Man Software from California, has a large QR code prominently displayed on his booth. dProduce Man Software sells packaging codes and software for the produce industry. Shafae said that having the QR code on his booth helped customers “go straight to all our information online.”

As adaptation of mobile technologies continues to grow among executives and professionals in the food ingredient industry, the use of QR codes, landing pages and other mobile apps will continue to gain traction and quickly grow to become important marketing communication tools for ingredient marketers.

Social Media for Food Ingredient Marketers

Over the past year, we have seen more and more food manufacturers and ingredient marketers starting to use social media.  In fact, we have connected online with hundreds of food industry executives, marketers, R&D professionals, research chefs and innovative culinary types through sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.  And yet we still hear from many food ingredient companies that they are hesitant to get started in social media and have concerns about how to use social media sites and tools.

The-Thank-You-EconomyIn his wonderful book on social media interaction, “The Thank You Economy,” Gary Vaynerchuk addresses many of these concerns head-on.  Here is our take on some of the more relevant concerns for food marketers.

Are you concerned that someone in the B2B space is never going to interact with you online? Why not? They are still human beings—with the desire for emotional connections, strong relationships and quality engagement. Business transactions are ultimately about goodwill and trust. And social media is one of the best channels to display this. Your customers have smart phones, and personal Twitter and Facebook pages. So why wouldn’t they interact with you online?

Are you stuck because your boss needs to know the ROI and you aren’t able to measure this? Consider this: can you measure the ROI of a handshake, of a first impression, of an employee who went out of his/her way to make something right for a customer? No, but do you expect this level of interaction to take place in your business? Of course!

Are you concerned that you don’t have the time to manage or monitor it?  Think about how you are currently allocating your resources.  Can you identify somewhere you aren’t spending your money wisely?  Consider taking that money and hiring a firm like Anderson Partners to help you with strategy and execution.

Ultimately, you can’t afford not to invest in a social media strategy. The benefits may not be noticed immediately but will be noticed long term; you will have greater brand awareness, stronger brand loyalty, increased word of mouth, improved understanding of your customer needs and direct access to customer feedback. Plus, it’s your customer’s access to the authentic you. Get out there and get started already.

New Clean Label Campaign From IFC

Isn’t it nice when you are flipping through a familiar publication and a refreshing ad catches your eye? This print ad from International Fiber Corporation (IFC) uses a soft and airy color scheme to draw you in. And then, in a single headline, it introduces a common nutritional problem manufacturers face, and offers the solution.

IFC

The ad focuses on a basic visual of nutritional labels for an array of applications and easily demonstrates how calories are reduced when insoluble fiber is added. It’s interesting to note that the ad neglects to callout the two ingredient brand names that IFC offers. Whether intentional or not, this approach becomes less of a sales pitch and more of an acknowledgement of a nation-wide consumer and governmental trend toward decreasing our caloric intake.

This creative is seamlessly carried into a landing page found at www.reducecalorieswithfiber.com. The site does a great job of setting up the issue and addressing the problem with the benefits of insoluble fiber. The ingredient names are found on this site, although they aren’t described in detail. To learn more about them, you have to click to the main IFC website and conduct your own search.

All in all, IFC made it very easy for its audience to understand the unique value of insoluble fiber and how it can clean up nutritional labels.

LinkedIn Groups Offer Industry Networking

imagesLinkedIn groups are typically created in an effort to provide a forum for like-minded people to interact and network. What if an ingredient company created a group open to the public that was specific to its company (products/services) or was specific to a product category (like flour)? I haven’t seen any companies taking this approach, but I think it’s a great opportunity.

This is the idea behind our successful LinkedIn group, Food Ingredient Marketing Communications (FIMC). This group has attracted hundreds of industry professionals, including senior marketing executives, R&D leaders and culinary innovators.

The content for these groups is endless. Post about new product introductions, recipe and application ideas, how to address technical issues, benefits of specific ingredients, etc. At first the group may be more of a push strategy, but eventually, as potential customers join the group your customers will start to participate in the conversation. Ideally they would post on a problem they’ve been experiencing, an ingredient they’ve been looking for, an application solution they’ve been missing, etc.

Not only will you build a database of quality potential customers you will be able to respond to them one-on-one, make an acquaintance and hopefully create some business. Like any social media approach ROI will not be immediate. By addressing your audiences’ needs, you prove to them that you are transparent and reachable. And you will probably learn something you never knew about your product/service, allowing you to either come up with something even better or decide to fix the issue.

New Ingredients Web Portal Has Social Connections

seewhatsworking2Anderson Partners Food Ingredients has launched a new web portal that connects online industry content with rich social media connections and delivers a valuable new resource for food ingredient marketing executives. With both standard and mobile versions, the portal provides a convenient way to access ingredient news, trends and discussions—all in one place.

We created our first portal as a landing page to support a QR-code promotion that we launched at IFT 2011. The response was very positive, so we built the new portal to provide our clients and our industry friends with even better access to our content.

The industry news feeds follow all the biggest food manufacturing customer companies. Our blog tracks important trends, and features examples of recent marketing communication programs from the major ingredient suppliers. Social media channels offer robust discussions with marketing executives, R&D leaders and culinary innovators.

The portal links multiple platforms together. There are two Twitter feeds, one from @APFI that features industry news, while @markhughesfood offers trends and commentary. Our LinkedIn discussion group Food Ingredient Marketing Communications (FIMC) connects to hundreds of industry executives. The main website provides a library of industry best practices and examples. Our goal is to provide a rich resource that ingredient marketers can use to make their programs work even better.

Take a look and let us know what you think. You can access the portal at http://www.andersonpartners.com/seewhatsworking/.

New Functional Egg Site Showcases Videos

FunctionalEggHome2High five to the American Egg Board and Shelly McKee, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University, their new website found at functionalegg.org! This website features six videos for food formulators that highlight the functional properties of egg products, including aeration, coagulation, emulsification, foaming and crystallization control. Videos can be such an engaging and informative tool in your marketing mix, and they are often overlooked. Which is why I’m excited to see a food ingredient company utilizing them.

Here is my honest analysis of the site.

Positives:

  • Great use of a mini-website to distribute a targeted message.
  • The site is very clean, easy to follow and not bombarded with text.
  • The video content itself is great, with great intent.
  • Good production quality.
  • Good use of quick links back to the main site for additional information.

Opportunities:

  • Ms. McKee, the narrator of the videos, appears stiff, as if she is reading from a monitor. This could be addressed by giving her bullet points to speak from as opposed to a script to follow.
  • To break up the monotony of having the camera on one person narrating, work in more demonstrations, graphics or video with voiceover, or consider adding another personality.
  • Some of these videos are 8-10 minutes long. It’s hard to hold someone’s attention for that long through an online video. I’d recommend 5 minutes or less.

According to the website there are six more videos on the functionality of eggs that are coming soon! That’s exciting news and great for food technologists; hopefully, the American Egg Board will consider ways to make these videos even more engaging.

Back to Scratch Baking

Hobart, Traulsen and Baxter—which offer a full line of food equipment, from flight-type warewashers to countertop food processors—launched a new B2B campaign at the 2011 National Restaurant Association (NRA) show called “Back to Scratch.” These partners recognized a growing demand for scratch baking and utilizing fresh ingredients. The target audience of this campaign was foodservice professionals, including bakers, schools and institutional bakers.

Hobart Corp. teamed up with Buddy Valastro from TLC’s “The Cake Boss” to help spread the message. Buddy is a big supporter of the Hobart mixer and scratch baking, and therefore was a perfect fit. Buddy and other chefs conducted baking demonstrations during the NRA show. Attendees could also take pictures with Buddy and were given a web address to view them at, creating further engagement.

Beyond the show, Horbart Corp. created a website at www.getbacktoscratch.com. This website allows foodservice professionals an opportunity to talk to other bakers and share photos of food items. Bakers can also put themselves on the map by submitting their location, allowing consumers to find them. A contest for a Hobart mixer, that goes until August 21, 2011, has been generating a lot of buzz on the site as well. Bakers can enter the contest by submitting their signature scratch-made item for others to vote on it.

GetbacktoscratchBV-2

Other channels utilized to connect to bakers included Facebook and Twitter:

www.facebook.com/getbacktoscratch

twitter.com/#!/back2scratch/

This campaign was done very tastefully. The focus is on the bakers and the recognized trend toward going back to scratch. Nowhere in this campaign are Hobart, Traulsen and Baxter hard selling any of its equipment. Obviously, the goal long-term goal is that bakers will remember them when purchasing equipment, but it goes to show that B2B companies can create real connections with their audiences without trying to sell something.

Here is some additional earned media the campaign achieved:

www.foodchannel.com/blogs/entry/cake-boss-takes-cake/

www.zshare.net/audio/91400631bdbf9e1d

 

Because Feeling is Believing

Gingerpedia_masthead

The Ginger People have created a blog, using WordPress, that is titled GingerpediaThis blog is very specific to the one ingredient it produces—ginger. The blog covers topics on ginger supply, applications, ingredients and industry trends. It targets food service operators, manufacturers and development professionals.

The idea of a blog seems to scare a lot of ingredient manufacturers only because they don’t think that they can find the time to write. But if you weigh the time spent against the value you will receive, it’s a tactic worth considering. Any ingredient company can have a blog, just like this, with a similar focus. Blogs (and other social media tools) show a softer side of a company. They show the human side. Sometimes we forget that people do business with people they like. Just like with a consumer brand, your company should be building emotional connections with those you interact with at every touch point. Try to get into their hearts and minds. If you can show you have a personality and have great ideas, you instantly qualify yourself as someone a prospect could do business with.

With a plan and schedule in place that identifies topics to cover, who can write them and when they should post, a blog is definitely doable. Believe me. Here at Anderson Partners Food Ingredients, we went through the same conversations, decided to dive in and it has been one of our most successful tactics to date. You’re reading our blog now.

King Arthur Flour Gets Engagement

This post was originally going to be about King Arthur’s new “Our Farmers” videos. But after I watched the videos, I toured the website further and the post has taken a different turn. King Arthur is doing some really great things in terms of engagement, and I’d like to touch on a few of those.

King_Arthur_Flour_logo_older_a

Videos
King Arthur recently launched videos covering the following topics: Families, Life of a Farmer, Preserving the Land and the King Arthur Flour (KAF) Connection. Each topic category has an all- encompassing recap video and individual family farmer video testimonials. The production quality of these videos is great. KAF effortlessly captures the emotion of the farmers and the connection that they have to their livelihood. The videos are very honest and nonscripted. The charm of the videos remains intact because of KAF’s tasteful choice to have minimal branding in the lower right corner.

My one criticism would be that had I not seen this link in a press release I’m not sure I could find the videos on the website. My personal opinion is that they should be highlighted on the homepage.

Community
KAF has built its own social network on its website, and people are actually participating in it. Bakers are posting recipes using KAF flour, problems they are experiencing while baking, questions on tips and much more. To post comments, users sign in with their account that they set up to receive email blasts from KAF. If users don’t have an account, they can create one. What a smart way for KAF to capture a database of potential customers.

Blog
The blog features awesome food photography and a clean design. I don’t even bake, but it makes me want to because of the food shots alone. The tone is conversational and includes recommendations on recipes to try. Each post actually shows, through photography, the step by step process that the recipe calls for.

Our Flours
The product pages titled “Our Flours” also use enticing food photography but go a step further by pulling in customer testimonials from posts in the community forum. Is there any better way to sell a product than to have a positive customer endorsement? Genius!

I’d have to say my KAF video experience took a turn for the better, and KAF’s website provided a fresh look at how to be more engaging. If you haven’t noticed a theme lately with my posts let me reiterate … IT’S ALL ABOUT ENGAGEMENT.

Anderson Partners Launches QR Code at IFT

Here’s an example of how we will be using QR codes at this year’s IFT Show. Go ahead. Scan the code. It will take you to a landing page that includes real time Twitter feeds for IFT, Anderson Partners and our president’s own Twitter feed. It also includes a brief description and links to our website, blog and group on LinkedIn.

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Show attendees receive so much collateral at tradeshows that it is important you find a way to stand out. So, instead of handing our prospects pages of information on us, we decided to compile all of that information in one handheld place—a unique URL address that our prospects could visit via their phone by snapping a picture of our QR code. This functionality also allows them to bookmark our page to review at a later time, or instantly share the page via email or text message which will extend our reach.

We built this landing page in-house so there were no costs involved except for our time. Even so, we are excited to determine our ROI and the success of this tactic. To measure this, we have set up tracking on our landing page and will be checking in during and after the show to see how it’s working. We’ll be sure to share these results with you when they come in. This test is also important to us because we are curious to see how many food ingredient-ites are familiar with and already have the capability to scan QR codes. It may be more than you think! Stay tuned …

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