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Print is Alive and Well

PrintAliveWell91_HalfFood Business News (FBN) recently launched a half-page and full-page ad campaign asserting that “Print is Alive and Well.” According to a recent research study conducted by Baxter Research, FBN readers say they read at least three of the last four issues of FBN. Marketers have recently questioned the value of a print ad spend vs. an online marketing campaign. Many have assumed that most readers are now online and not reading printed editions, due to the advances in the publication’s ability to provide complete content online, and the amount of time that the average consumer now spends online.

This research advocates that, at least for FBN readers, print is still a great avenue to reach your customers. So when considering print and online:

  • Ask the publication about its readership in both places.
  • Gain an understanding of the value of each, and how the publication measures effectiveness.
  • Know where, and in what sections, your competitors are advertising.
  • Consider your budget. Print advertising can be more costly than online.

ADM’s Website Promotes Helpful Digital Media

ADMWhile conducting best practice research for a client, I stumbled upon ADM’s site and was astonished by how much emphasis they place on digital media. Not only did it serve as an excellent site for me to gather insights on ADM’s current marketing approach, it’s a great outlet of information for its customers. Nearly everywhere you turn on the site, you can find PDFs and media clips, including product line catalogs, ingredient sell sheets, print ad campaigns, radio spots and industry-specific brochures. This information is always strategically placed in the right-hand column of each page, which affords users time-saving accessibility.

Research Shows Social Media Usage by Food Ingredient Companies

APFISurvey_S.MediaRecent mar-com research published by Anderson Partners Food Ingredients provides an interesting look into how leading food ingredient companies are utilizing social media platforms as part of their overall marketing communications programs. Two-thirds of the food marketing execs that responded to the survey indicated that their companies were currently using social media as part of their marketing mix.

Food ingredient marketers have discovered that using social media delivers value on many levels. One-third of respondents reported that they successfully use social media to increase awareness of their brands and products. Nearly one-fourth noted the value of social media in generating sales leads. Still, other are keying on the “high-touch” possibilities, using social media to enhance customer support and increase transparency.

The social media platform used most widely by food ingredient companies was LinkedIn. Over 48% of respondents cited LinkedIn, far more than any other social media option. LinkedIn’s popularity comes from its relevance in the B-to-B environment. In particular, the LinkedIn discussion groups like FIMC (Food Ingredient Marketing Communications), the Food Marketing Network and INgredients all provide forums for connecting and engaging with customers in marketing, R&D and product development. LinkedIn also provides tools that help facilitate customer contact, either directly or through networking groups. Some of these applications are available on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, but LinkedIn remains the B-to-B leader among food ingredient companies.

These findings on social media usage are part of a new research study conducted among mar-com executives at leading national food ingredient companies. The research also covers a range of relevant marketing communications topics, including the general state of mar-com programs, best trade show tactics, how to engage prospects and measuring ROI. A summary report titled Best Practice Research Report for Food Ingredient Marketers is available by contacting Anderson Partners Food Ingredients.

New Mar-Com Research Shows Food Ingredient Company Best Practices

 APFISurveyNew research, completed by Anderson Partners Food Ingredients, provides a close look at the B-to-B marketing communications programs and best practices currently having the most success in the food ingredient industry. The primary objective of the research was to identify key areas of focus for food ingredient marketing communications programs in 2010 by measuring usage and attitudes toward specific marketing tactics. The sample audience for the study consisted of marketing communications professionals from national food ingredient companies selling ingredient products into manufacturing, food service, bakery, beverage and other industries.

The results of the research are now available in a summary report titled Best Practice Research Report for Food Ingredient Marketers. The report addresses the key challenges that mar-com execs face in identifying and reaching their targets, as well as the strategies and tactics that are working to connect them with their customers.

The report covers a range of relevant marketing communications topics, including the general state of mar-com programs, best trade show tactics, how to engage prospects and measuring ROI. There is also a section on B-to-B use of social media among food ingredient companies. These industry best practices offer insights into new programs and fresh ideas that can be used to add value to existing marketing programs.

Copies of the report are available by contacting Anderson Partners Food Ingredients.

Danisco Makes Solution Search Simple

 Danisco Logo

DaniscoThere’s a reason why instructions are listed in a 1-2-3 format—it’s easier to follow. That’s exactly how Danisco offers solutions for its customers. Have a problem with a food or beverage you’re making? Need a solution? Choose an industry, an application within that industry, the effect you desire, and voila! You instantly have your solution ingredients and a brief description of key benefits. Danisco makes it as simple as that. It’s a clean, smooth process, and its simplicity makes it fast, easy and effective for the customer

Top Food Ingredient Trends at IFT 2010

At this year’s IFT show in Chicago, I had the opportunity to talk to dozens of food ingredient companies and their customers. Generally speaking, the conversations were mostly upbeat about the economy and about recent signs of business rebounding. All of the ingredient marketers were excited about the new products and new applications they had to offer their customers. Based on these discussions, I saw three main ingredient trends emerging for 2010:
1. Low-sodium initiatives and salt-replacement ingredients
2. Gluten-free products and gluten-free ingredients
3. Clean-label products and simple-ingredient solutions
Each trend represents major marketing issues for food manufacturers and processors, as well as for customers in food service, bakery and beverage channels. As a result, ingredient marketers are aggressively pushing new offerings and new ingredient platforms to their customers that address one or more of these issues. These products dominated the marketing messages at IFT exhibitor booths and at a variety of customer-relations events.I posted these trends on LinkedIn recently and asked what major trends and issues had emerged for other IFT attendees. Jeff Gomper, president at OntheRise Bakery & Pizza Solutions in Milwaukee, wrote, “I would agree that low sodium is the #1 topic. Bryan Stevens of Kansas State University added, “I saw lots of encapsulated Omega 3s on the floor and in the poster presentations.”

Dean Lusting, vice president at Philadelphia Macaroni Company posted, “Agree with above. Although not trends, I saw multigrain, vegetable, fiber and other pro-nutrition inclusions into pasta and meals.” Peter Clark, who writes for Food Technology about processing innovations said, “…two trends I noted are concerns about sustainability and the emergence of competition in heat transfer devices.”

I am very interested in what other’s saw at this year’s IFT show, or at other food ingredient trade shows during the year. What do you see as the major food ingredient trends for 2010?

IFT Online Tools Generate Buzz for Ingredient Marketers

IFT 2The 2010 IFT show in Chicago presented its widest range of online tools yet, providing attendees with multiple opportunities to connect and communicate. Savvy food ingredient marketers took advantage of the IFT online presence to promote their show offerings, and drive traffic to their booths.

In a previous blog post we reviewed the IFT’s tools that helped attendees prepare a personalized show guide and send e-mail meeting invitations to exhibitors and other participants. Several major food ingredient companies told me that they had received multiple meeting requests from the ChripEvite e-mail tool.

In addition to the preshow planning tools, IFT offered a full suite of social media sites where attendees could post information, comment on presentations and exhibits, and communicate with one another. The integrated social media platform included sites on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and LinkedIn. The LinkedIn discussion group included over 3,700 members who actively posted and discussed their IFT experiences.  A steady stream of Twitter posts and Flickr photos was prominently displayed on a large video screen kiosk just outside the main entrance.

Several food ingredient companies took advantage of IFT’s online platform to actively promote their presence at the show. Companies announced giveaways and demonstrations taking place at their booths. There were also multiple posts with announcements on new products and ingredient applications that provided links to additional content and information. Prominent ingredient marketers using the tools included National Starch, Monsanto, Innova and David Michael & Co.

All of these tools and examples of food ingredient company activity can be accessed through the IFT portal site.

Sargento Site Offers Customers New Idea Center

sargentoWhen it comes to customizing products, Sargento takes the … cheese. Sargento Food Ingredients offers customers a way to create customized products in its Food Ingredients Idea Center. “You bring the idea; they supply the ingredients.” Choose a product category, such as cheese, sauce or filling, and then mix and match flavors of your choice. It even offers “Better for You” ingredients, so you can concoct a healthier option. Once you’ve chosen flavors, select delivery options, including size and packaging. Whether you have something in mind or the options help you come up with something new, meal kits have never been so easily customizable.

Communicating Sustainability

In a previous blog post, we wrote about the growing activity inside food ingredient companies to communicate their various efforts at establishing viable and credible sustainability programs. Industry marcom execs have been challenged to expand their communications to a wider variety of internal and external audiences. Several food ingredient companies have implemented comprehensive communications plans that integrate multiple tactics to promote their sustainability programs, including trade news coverage, advertising, social networks, e-mail marketing and more.

 

nestle_logo1One tactic that appears to be having a lot of success is the idea of forming partnerships between food marketers, the cause-related non-profits and non-governmental organizations that are involved in relevant sustainability programs. One recent example that caught our attention was the partnership announced between Nestlé and The Forest Trust. The two are partnering to develop more responsible practices for palm oil sourcing and for procurement of the pulp and paper that Nestlé uses.

According to Food Business News, Nestlé and The Forest Trust have defined responsible sourcing guidelines—a set of requirements to guide the Nestlé procurement process and to ensure compliance with the Nestlé supplier code. Nestlé will seek to identify and exclude companies owning, or managing, high-risk plantations or farms linked to deforestation.

 

tftThe partnership with The Forest Trust gives credibility to Nestlé’s sustainability program. The tactic also gains wider exposure through the joint promotion efforts of the two partners. Expect to see more food ingredient companies announcing eco-friendly partnerships in the months to come.

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