1. Wearables Driving Healthy Lifestyles
With success in the wearable tech categories, especially from Apple and Fitbit, many people are starting to get more and more data about their daily lifestyles. This trend will continue in 2019 with consumers looking for data-rich information about what they eat and how it affects their health.
Exercise is no longer just for gym rats as these companies are pushing the idea that anything from a simple walk around the block to even standing more during the day can have an impact on your health. Food marketers who are in the healthy eating category should consider creating additional content for consumers based on how best to use wearables or make healthy lifestyle choices. This will ensure their brands are part of the conversation and top of mind for their target audiences.
If you are selling a less-than-healthy product, consider the angle of treating yourself as, or being perceived as, an indulgence to remain desirable. Research does say eating dark chocolate can make you smarter.
2. Voice is Reaching Critical Mass
Thanks to amazing deals during Christmas from Amazon and Google for their various devices, many consumers now have one or multiple smart speakers in their home. TechCrunch just reported that “the smart speaker” market reached critical mass in 2018, with around 41 percent of U.S. consumers now owning a voice-activated speaker. This is up from 21.5 percent in 2017. This means that people will be asking Alexa or Google Home for help in their daily lives — and that means more shopping lists, online grocery ordering, how-to searches for cooking and related content.
With this in mind, brands should have a solid SEO strategy as voice assistants search the web for their answers. It’s incredibly important to have great, rich snippets built into search results, so that Google and Bing have something to grab. If you are marketing a consumer-packaged good company, then you need to make sure products are listed competitively on Amazon since Alexa will default to those products for online ordering.
3. Feed the Need for Product Feeds
All the big platforms are experimenting with e-commerce options for advertising as well as selling products directly to consumers. We saw Instagram grow its shopping ads platform extensively in the past couple of years, especially in the fashion and tech sectors. As online grocery sales continue to increase, it’s ripe for the picking.
Instagram has always been an excellent platform for fantastic food photography, but brands can begin to link directly to products found in the images or stories for ease of purchase. Services like Google and Facebook will need to take this into account as their voice shopping platforms grow to compete with Amazon. Product information feeds from Google, Facebook and other services will be important to natively display products where consumers are already browsing.
4. Brands Prepare for Online Grocery Sales Maturation
Estimates from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen are projecting online grocery sales to be a $100 Billion by 2022, and that 70% of consumers will be grocery shopping online by 2024. Many food brands will be racing to offer or improve their online websites in 2019. Additionally, specialty food brands have been investing in new websites to improve their online shopping experience. For instance, KIND launched a new site at the end of 2017 with frequent refreshes in 2018.
Even heritage food brands like our partner TABASCO® invested in updated online store experiences in 2018. As brands begin to navigate the complexities of online versus in-store sales, it will require nuanced strategies to avoid cannibalizing wholesale relationships while competing with other online grocery retailers. Amazon will continue to expand its online grocery category with its acquisition of Whole Foods brick-and-mortar stores as well.
What do you think? Was there anything we missed in our food marketing predictions for 2019 that you feel will make a big splash this year? Feel free to leave a comment or email us to discuss!