October 18, 2018

Staying Smart On Trends

The latest food trend is always so tempting, isn’t it. The promise that if you just add X and Y then people might flock to your products is a hard siren call to resist. The thing is, you’re not the only one thinking that and instead of creating a diversified product you end up potentially competing in an overcrowded product pool.

A quote came out of Expo East, the big east coast natural products tradeshow that was recently held in Baltimore, along the lines of every manufacturer stating that their product contains MCT oil – a supposed healthy fat that is good for our bodies. This is not unlike a few years ago everyone saying that their products contained probiotics or before that antioxidants or whatever else the current health craze suggested was ‘the new big thing.’

Everyone is eager to jump on the latest trend bandwagon with the hopes of profiting from it. And while it doesn’t hurt to have a health benefit to your product – assuming your product is being targeted to those who care about that health conscious benefit – but if you rely solely on that benefit as your main marketing message then it may very well get lost in the crowded field where everyone else is yelling the same message.

Assuming that health benefit is an authentic addition to your product and it makes sense (i.e., don’t necessarily go adding MCT oil to your cupcakes because the juxtaposition between an indulgent cupcake and a healthful benefit are hard for consumers to wrap their heads around), that healthfulness may be one component you want to tout about what makes your product different and better, but it shouldn’t be what you solely focus on.

Health marketing when it comes to food is a tricky game. Everyone is trying to shout the same message but there’s also a good chance that 3, 6, 12 months from now, consumer interest will be elsewhere in the healthful food arena. So when you create a marketing message for your product, look for ways that you can tap into the current trends but don’t so focus on those that you are pigeonholed when consumer trends change.

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