As brand specialists and marketers often working in the food and beverage industry, one element of our job is to create strong messaging that will help drive awareness and sales of our clients' products. Part of what we rely on when crafting these messages is research data.
A 2015 online Harris Poll surveyed 2,225 U.S. adults to determine what words have the greatest influence on purchasing decisions within the food and beverage industry. A breakdown of the findings...
- “Handmade/handcrafted” showed the strongest potential sway with 48% estimating it has some or a great deal of influence on their decisions.
- "Handmade/handcrafted" also was deemed to communicate "high quality" by almost 60% of the survey respondents. "Artisan/artisanal" and "custom" were voted the next best quality communicators.
- More than 1/3 of those surveyed indicated “limited edition” (37%), “custom” (36%), or “artisan/artisanal” (36%) have at least some influence on what they buy.
- Thirty-two percent stated that “craft” has at least some influence, and “small batch” trailed with 25%.
Of course, it also depends on the product you're marketing. More than half of the drinking-age respondents (52%) indicated "craft" is the best fit for beer, while only 20% said the same for wine. "Handmade/handcrafted" were marketing terms found to be best suited for foods that satisfy the sweet tooth crowd - baked goods, jam/jelly/preserves and chocolate/candy. Cheeses and baked goods are most seen as appropriate fits for "artisan/artisanal" descriptors.
There also were some differences that existed between generations. Fifty-three percent of Millennials felt that "craft" indicated high quality, while only 31% of Matures agreed. The same applied for "small batch" with 39% and 19%, respectively. Is that because more Millennials are drinking beer and wine? Perhaps. As to what terms influence purchasing decisions among these generations, "handmade/handcrafted" was ranked highest across the board. "Limited edition" was voted 2nd highest among Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers, and "artisan/artisanal" among Boomers and Matures.
Our takeaway on this? If marketers follow these research results, you'll probably see a lot more products in 2016 touted as "handmade/handcrafted." But, marketers shouldn't rely solely on research when creating messaging for food and beverage clients. The type and uniqueness of the products being sold, as well as the target audiences should be considered, as well.