Paris, 18 July 2016 – Based on the need for a transformative communications model in the modern food and beverage industry, MSLGROUP has unveiled Six Communication Drivers for Winning Share of Mouth in the Conversation Age. The drivers – distilled from the expert opinions of top food industry communications experts inside and outside the firm -- are supported by secondary research. They are outlined in the latest People’s Insights Series, The Future of Food Communications: Winning Share of Mouth in the Conversation Age, that provides a deep look into future food and food communications trends.
According to Pascal Beucler, Chief Strategy Officer, MSLGROUP, “in order to succeed in the conversation age, food and beverage brands need to rely on a contemporary mix of communications techniques from powerful visual stimuli to social influence at scale, as well build an attractive brand reputation, a brand narrative that delivers modern appetite appeal, a health and wellness story and a strong connection to culture.”
MSLGROUP has organized the Six Communications Drivers into a new diagnostic tool that is the centerpiece of how it assesses and organizes the communications activities of food and beverage companies and brands.
“These drivers can help food and beverage brands profitably balance their communications,” said Steve Bryant, Managing Director, MSLGROUP in Seattle and one of the global agency’s top food experts. “They are the beginning of an important dialogue about how the latest communications practices, platforms and channels can be strategically deployed to maximize revenue.”
Through opinion pieces from experts at MSLGROUP and in the food industry, The Future of Food Communications highlights key takeaways, which include:
Food choices and preferences today depend on a multitude of factors, including peer recommendations, personal ethical concerns, specific health needs, and cultural relevance, among others. Food companies need to understand and respond with precision engagement to effectively win share of mouth.
With increasing awareness of the broad impact of our food choices, consumers and activists are seeking and sharing information about what goes into their food. Proactive transparency are required to ensure consumer trust and advocacy.
Food habits have evolved dramatically – sit-down meals are increasingly replaced by on-the-go snacking. The connected consumers of today require brands to reach them where they are – physically as well as mentally. It’s as much about accessibility as it is about strategic, timely communication.
Technology holds great promise in food innovation, yet it is essential for the food industry to powerfully communicate the benefits, explaining new technologies, cultivating trust in unseen innovations, and popularizing new ways of eating, especially at a time when consumers value the apparent simplicity of natural, farm fresh foods. To successfully steer this conversation, food and beverage brands can highlight themes of transparency, innovation, personalization and mobility.
Summing up the report, Bryant concluded : ″Consumers today seek a seemingly paradoxical all-natural, yet high-tech future of food. For marketers, that’s a caution to revisit their communication plans, understanding what key factors now drive consumption and revenue.″
The Future of Food Communications also includes a China perspective :
Chinese millennials' upbringing in this era has given them very different behaviors and experiences when compared to their predecessors.Often stereotyped as being selfobsessive,Chinese millennials on the contrary can place priorities on their own family especially when they themselves become parents.
Safety concern(s) is one of the top priorities among Chinese consumers.Considering the number of food safety scandals over the past years (most notably the tainted milk scandal in 2008), Chinese consumers have been extremely cautious about their product choices, and continue to look out for safety issues being exposed in the media.
Chinese millennials are among the first in the country to truly ‘get connected’ with the outside world via the convenience of internet, and have first hand experienced the rise of social media, which has now become an essential part of their lives.
They're also more receptive to online reviews from other mums, which they believe are more trustworthy than recommendation from professionals.This implies that the purchase decision is heavily influenced by social media.Food brands can tap social media to reach out to the millennial parents.
Capturing the attention and loyalty of this burgeoning and very important decision-making section of the population will be crucial for food brands, if they intend to establish themselves as leaders of the food revolution.
To read ‘The Future of Food Communications: Winning Share of Mouth in the Conversation Age’ visit http://bit.ly/FutureofFoodComms
About ‘The Future of Food Communications
‘The Future of Food Communications: Winning the Share of Mouth in the Conversation Age’ is part of MSLGROUP’s People’s Insights project which shares views from our global team of 100+ strategic planners, researchers and insight experts. Other titles include The Future of Employee (Re)Engagement, The Future of Reputation, The Future of Business Citizenship, The Future of Creativity, Data In. Data Out. Transforming Big Data into Smart Ideas, and A Chance for Change: The Tipping Point for Sustainable Business.