ThinkOTB Agency

OTB takes a look at the world of food marketing

September 2, 2015

Food marketing in many ways deserves to be seen as an industry all of its own. This diverse and constantly changing market offering seemingly endless opportunities for marketers to push the boundaries and explore their creativity. Food plays such a central role in British culture, from restaurants to fastfood, from reality cooking shows to do it yourself guides. Food marketers are responsible for some of the biggest trends in the wider marketing world…

Marketing milk, milk marketing

In recent weeks food marketing has hit headlines in the discussion of fair prices for milk. Farmers across the country have protested against the unfair return they receive for their produce. They’ve highlighted the role supermarkets can play in addressing the problem.

In terms of marketing, this controversy has presented a challenge for some of the UK’s biggest retailers. It asked them to prove themselves and their brand in the face of the controversy. Brand image and corporate social responsibility have never been more prominent. Many retailers have stood up to the challenge and altered their marketing accordingly.

Last week Marketing Magazine and The Drum explored how Asda and Morrisons have responded to the marketing challenge. Morrisons has gone so far as to create a new brand ‘The Milk For Farmers’. It asks consumers to pay 10p extra per litre for its product. Marketing Magazine commented ‘if anything, the brand will provide a real-time case study on whether or not people really care about the issue to the extent that they will cough up the extra pennies. Many happily pay more for free range eggs and meat in support of animal rights. Let’s see if they’ll do the same for farmers.’

The Bake Off effect

If you had told marketing industry experts a couple of years ago that one of the BBC’s biggest and most successful TV shows would soon see contestants baking cakes in a garden tent, many would have been incredulous.

But The Great British Bake Off has indeed become just that. It has sent ripples through the food marketing, TV and brand industries. According to a recent article by The Guardian, bake sales in Britain raised an estimated £185 million for charities last year. 6 million people were inspired by Bake Off to take part in this fundraising.

Marketing Magazine recently interviewed Rebecca Swift, the director of creative planning at Getty Images on how she thought Bake Off was affecting the marketing and visual imaging world. She highlighted the popular mimicking of up-close-and-personal food shots used in Bake Off filming on Instagram and other social media sites. The hashtag #baking currently stands at over 6 million images on the site. Swift also highlights that this trend doesn’t just apply to the social media world. Food marketing giants such as M&S and Lurpak are taking a leaf from the Bake Off-inspired trends. They’ve filled their marketing campaigns with hunger-inducing shots of their produce and inspirational recipe ideas to get your imagination flowing.

Get your hands dirty

There is so much potential for food marketing and so many insights that can be generated and adapted for other marketing industries. You have no time to lose in applying these techniques to your own marketing strategy. Vibrant, exciting and creative in equal measure, food marketing is setting the industry alight. It’s inspiring changes in popular culture, corporate responsibility and social media trends.

Need help translating these insights into your own marketing strategy? Contact us today to see how we can help! You never know, we might just have a slice of cake waiting for you too…


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