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  • New Foodies - Food and Drink International
    of alternatives Bottled water teas coconut water energy drinks and so on have all taken a bite out of the soft drink pie More recently studies showing that sugar substitutes actually contribute to weight gain are impacting the diet soda market The big companies are looking for alternatives and trying to respond but the bloom appears to be off the rose for the traditional soft drink Frozen foods once the growth darling of the industry are feeling the heat as well Shoppers are more interested in fresh foods with less processing and packaging This is bad news not just for manufacturers but also for retailers as many have devoted as much as 40 percent of their square footage to expensive and energy hungry frozen food display cases The biggest losers in this category are in the low calorie segment with both ConAgra s Healthy Choice and Nestle s Lean Cuisine lines leading the charge downward Pasta suffers from a number of maladies it s full of gluten which means it is not hip in a market where one percent of consumers are gluten intolerant and up to 10 percent are actively avoiding gluten It is also seen as fattening a perception that market leader Barilla which is down 3 percent in sales is fighting with ads promoting the relatively low calorie count per serving Possibly worst of all is that pasta is seen as well boring Consumers are looking for new tastes to tantalize their palettes and pasta is the same old thing Finally that staple of the nuclear family morning ready to eat breakfast cereal The verdict among consumers is that it is too sweet too expensive too processed and not fast enough People are eating more on the go and it is hard to eat a bowl of cereal in the car Nutrition bars however are taking a bite out of those sales as a more healthful option and one that is travel friendly To be fair 90 percent of American homes still buy cereal but they don t eat as much as they used to and the curve is heading in the wrong direction Cereal makers are playing the nostalgia card in an effort to drive demand back up but short of putting pieces of gold in the box instead of toys sales aren t likely to recover soon There may be some impact from the loss of Saturday morning cartoons as well What was once a ritual for many children waking up early and watching cartoons before the rest of the family got out of bed has gone the way of must see TV No more Saturday morning cartoons on broadcast television networks and no more kid targeted advertising to drive demand with mom Change or Die Those are the symptoms the actual cause is changing tastes and concerns about health across the board with consumers Once great products like Kellogg s Frosted Flakes are remembered fondly by many but that s not enough to get

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1582-new-foodies (2016-04-27)
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  • Generational Habits - Food and Drink International
    luxury cues preferring imports and easy to identify mechanics such as Johnnie Walkers color coded tiered system They rallied behind big well known cachet brands that were easily identifiable by their peers and clear symbols of their success Millennials on the other hand while still appreciating the complexity of dark spirits and cocktails have taken a different approach to status Rejecting cues of globalization they instead rally behind the cues of craft and localization The cachet is more in supporting the local community versus a global one Millennials have watched their parents age toward retirement in a period of economic turmoil resulting in higher layoffs and unemployment from companies in which they spent a large percent of their adult lives This has given rise to an entrepreneurial spirit within millennials which is evident in the craft category We have seen the rise of microbrewing which often results from a distrust of brands that are considered too corporate This is why brands like New Belgium which can authentically tout craft an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to community thrive among younger drinkers Additionally millennials are more drawn to the small and unknown the rare finds which is no doubt a demonstration of today s technology and unlimited access to the long tail When boomers grew up the value in media was about understanding what was mainstream Today it s about discovering the obscure Re Socialization of Drinking The boomer and millennial generations are close a tie that has only grown stronger as millennials move back home As a result the two generations are actively drinking together as just another extension of kids being friends with their parents But not only are we seeing a trickling down of behaviors from parent to child but also a trickling up as well There has

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1581-generational-habits (2016-04-27)
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  • Brand Establishment - Food and Drink International
    s did with their pizza boxes they wrote and art directed them like important communications vehicles They re Trojan Horse ads delivered to the door and brought unsuspectingly into the house to then amuse and entertain pizza chewers into believing that Domino s really has changed Brand voice Puffery Happy talk Puns A new angle on such and such showing the angle the pizza is cut Fundraising with us will make you lots of dough They could be any pizza chain or anybody serving something baked There is no sense of individuality Missed Opportunity Unsolicited Advice People can t become fiercely loyal to a place they can t trust to be a consistent personality It doesn t matter what the personality is there just has to be something to identify with Watch Little Caesar s battle to regain the personality it squandered when it abandoned its nineties era Pizza Pizza campaign That goofy voice creates a positive emotional bond Consistency Once a brand voice is established people are reassured when they hear that voice in every encounter My favorite pizza place speaks in a different voice in every medium nothing matches Missed Opportunity Unsolicited Advice From the menu to the interior signage to its website and social feeds just try to catch Mellow Mushroom behaving in an off brand manner they present everything from the perspective of mellowed happy dude under the influence of um quality pizza Differentiation Every chain thinks it needs to introduce new products all the time to create New News and that s fine except that unfortunately the pizza place I like in my opinion needs to do more work figuring out the basic over arching and compelling reason a customer should prefer their pizza Missed Opportunity Unsolicited Advice Yeah sure Pizza Hut has made their brand all about New News and driven a lot of sales with new products But they re in every small town in America practically and have a ton of media money to spend They can afford to constantly invent and push new ideas Customer engagement What about your database Or your not new product related promotions How are you making customers feel welcome and wanted Are you just planning to issue more modest coupons Missed Opportunity Unsolicited Advice You have to give Papa John points for their sports tie ins Even subtracting their Manningesque good fortune in having one particularly high profile franchisee they still win I swear I m not trying to make these sports puns they just happen in pre game and game day moments offering a chance for a trip to the Super Bowl by sending in a video of how you celebrate when your team scores for example Communications Everywhere a customer s eyes rest they re absorbing information about what kind of a place you are No one says coupons signage T shirts or in store materials have to be boring or dumbed down and let s get past the generic false feeling positivity that

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1580-brand-establishment (2016-04-27)
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  • The Perfect Fit - Food and Drink International
    seems to be interested in the app as well with accounts set up for retailers like American Eagle and Wetseal and publisher Refinery29 4 Brands use Snapchat like they use email Snapchat s setup of one to one messaging automatically creates a feeling of exclusivity for a brand and smart brands take full advantage How does that translate into content Brands offer behind the scenes looks first looks at collections new products and event perks They re also using it for recruiting In early July Irish bar Sober Lane made headlines when it announced it would only accept job applications for 20 open positions through Snapchat and received more than 2 000 applications at the time of writing 5 Your fans need to be able to find you Unless a brand has a solid integrated messaging strategy and sizable community already established on other networks gaining ground within Snapchat can be extremely difficult Taco Bell for example utilized its massive community on Twitter and other social networks to drive followers to its Snapchat account The odds of a fan discovering a brand on the social network on their own is nearly impossible 6 You need content or content maestros at your fingertips Brands looking to share content that is shot edited retouched and finessed need to look elsewhere Like Vine before it the app is meant to generate visual content in real time posing a challenge for brands that require the safety net of planned and polished content It will be interesting to see if Snapchat follows the path of Vine Instagram and even YouTube where brands are increasingly outsourcing content to talented and prolific users who have built substantial communities of their own 7 The app s features aren t intuitive which may be a challenge for engaging older

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1541-the-perfect-fit (2016-04-27)
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  • Taking a Byte - Food and Drink International
    where how and what we eat and drink From outdoor enthusiasts to the travel and hospitality sector the opportunities to identify and speak to a very specific audience are abundant The other reason that digital marketing and advertising is so effective is because of the inherent flexibility of the format If a brand of beer wants to roll out a campaign for a new seasonal release for example it can do so within some very specific and flexible parameters Geo targeting can help bolster region specific sales and real time optimization means that messaging and content can be adapted and refined on the fly Creative and scalable digital content can also be rolled out not only on very specific sites and online publications but also at very specific times That powerful confluence of time geography and audience is something you can do in digital that you cannot do in other media Brand Tactics For food and beverage brands looking to better engage their ideal demographics in the digital space it is not just about who is listening but it is about what you are saying and how you are saying it The effectiveness of some messaging can be measured through transactional metrics based on click through numbers conversions and fairly straightforward math However larger brands and brands trying to build brand awareness have to engage in more complicated and imprecise surveys Because of this it s vital that your messaging connects While some product audience pairings are obvious pizza and beer or granola bars and bottled water others can surprise Sapporo Beer surprised with its Open for Adventure campaign geared toward those with an active lifestyle by offering rucksack giveaways and a grand prize trip to Hawaii Digital provides unique opportunities to carve out a specific niche to reach an

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1540-taking-a-byte (2016-04-27)
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  • Recall Preparation - Food and Drink International
    3 Follow the lead of federal authorities The FDA has specific guidelines for communication that includes which media outlets must be notified and what language must be used 4 Train train and train again The company should train two teams so that one is focused on corporate managment policies and the other understands manufacturing protocols The spokesperson should be media trained and be prepped by holding on camera rehearsals and reviewing message points 5 Backup your systems Assume that the company s computer systems will not work and your crisis team is not available 6 Notify stakeholders because the rumor mill can run rampant Debunk rumors by making updates available to vendors the media shareholders employees retailers distributors sales and consumers Stakeholders can be notified through the use of a slideshow email blasts social media updates press releases and statements 7 Develop special communication for highly disgruntled customers and distributors In this Internet age and litigious society a few angry people can make waves completely disproportionate to their numbers or even to the injury suffered if any The recall process should include an escalated cases team to focus on such complaints when received 8 Make sincere apologies and be open and transparent The nature of a recall means that all information will eventually be shared publicly Don t say for example that you re committed to safety if you just poisoned 200 people 9 Media relations are key A firm or industry that is not forthcoming with information of who knew what and when will experience loss of trust from its customers and consumers During a crisis it is necessary for a company to talk about the science risks what is known and what is unknown The ability to be nimble is essential Stonewalling and saying no comment does not

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1539-recall-preparation (2016-04-27)
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  • See and Be Seen - Food and Drink International
    between the bathroom and the kitchen While celebrities receive preferential treatment for reservations or VIP rooms when it comes to opening a new restaurant there are no short cuts and there is no room for error As an attorney and industry professional I cannot stress enough that every aspect of a restaurant s success or demise hinges upon an owner s ability to take advantage of his or her partners specific expertise in order to minimize risk and pounce on opportunity Every decision especially at a celebrity run restaurant that garners considerable scrutiny requires familiarity with the hospitality industry and thorough knowledge of health safety leasing licensing building and or zoning regulations Accordingly an overwhelming number of celebrity run restaurants are featured in newspaper headlines as epic failures rather than trendy triumphs The triumphs likely did three key things One deferred to experienced restaurant management two refrained from dishing out freebies and three hired competent attorneys These Three Things First and foremost new restaurants must hire and defer to a reputable restaurant management team Whereas celebrities often have unrivaled acting athletic or musical talents generally speaking they lack restaurant industry expertise Sure they attend restaurants more than most and consequently may have a greater appreciation demand for attentive service and quality cuisine However that does not mean they know what colors are statistically proven to whet a diner s appetite what requirements are imposed by local health code ordinances a contributing factor to the downfall of pop star Britney Spears Nyla how to ensure repeat customers a fatal problem for filmmaker Steven Spielberg s Dive or the benefit of updating a restaurant menu regularly to account for changes in food prices a key factor in the success of skateboarding champ Tony Hawk s MARKET Restaurant and Bar They also tend to be unfamiliar of the best way to ensure adherence to a budget or the timely payment of staff and vendors serious missteps for professional baseball player Carlos Beltran s Sofrito and record producer Jermaine Dupri s Cafe Dupri Hiring an experienced management team whose entire job is to account for such details is critical Second a celebrity opening a restaurant must resist the urge to provide complimentary food and drinks to fellow celebrities friends and family members A restaurant is a business like any other It cannot be the de facto clubhouse for celebrity owners and their entourage Celebrity run or not a new restaurant is always on shaky financial grounds at the onset due to significant front heavy costs e g buying kitchen equipment paying contractors putting down security deposits If friends and family dine for free they are taking away tables from full paying customers and the cost of goods sold drop immediately to the bottom line Ultimately freebies are a surefire way to an early closing Third a celebrity run restaurant must pay attention to the corporate litigation and real estate issues arising in the hospitality industry Whereas the chef and management team are some of

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1538-see-and-be-seen (2016-04-27)
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  • Craft Craze - Food and Drink International
    Busch InBev Boston Beer and MillerCoors are developing their own hard cider brands Since 2007 sales of hard cider have tripled and the top 10 cider brands have experienced more than 60 percent growth in the last few years At the same time hard cider has experienced this rapid market growth much confusion remains regarding the legal treatment of cider For example most statutes at both the state and federal level do not separately define or regulate hard cider choosing instead to lump it in either with wine or beer At the federal level hard cider is defined and regulated as wine However each state regulates hard cider differently some classify it as wine and others classify it as beer To complicate matters further when complying with labeling requirements hard cider producers have to be sensitive to the level of alcohol by volume ABV contained in the product Separate governmental entities control the labeling of alcohol with an ABV under or above seven percent differently In short while the marketplace has embraced the emergence of hard cider and is pushing for further growth those producing it are confronted with an unusual and somewhat convoluted set of regulatory requirements just to get their product to eager consumers Understanding Mead Like hard cider mead has a rich history going back to the Vikings It has been identified as the alcoholic beverage of choice up until the 1500s Mead production fell off sometime in the 1700s however only to reemerge over the past few decades on the heels of the craft beer industry The number of cases of mead sold in the past few years increased by 103 percent and the average gross sales increased 130 percent according to the American Mead Makers Association In short mead is emerging as the smallest but

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1537-craft-craze (2016-04-27)
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