Food and beverage manufacturers have a distinct challenge when it comes to marketing and selling their products. The population only needs to consume so much food. Thus, gaining a bigger share of the market typically necessitates luring customers away from the competition. While a clothing manufacturer may convince shoppers that they need more clothes, there's a cap on how much you can convince a customer to eat. Staying competitive means distinguishing yourself in key ways.
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Branding is crucial for any company hoping to elevate itself above the competition. Take time to clarify your brand's key values and features. Are you promoting impressively affordable food and beverage products for frugal families? Is your distinguishing feature your commitment to sustainability in the food production process? Perhaps you're establishing your brand as a top choice for adventurous eaters, or you want to stake your claim on the comfort foods market. No matter where your position is, make sure it's as clear and original as possible.
Cater to Your Customers' Needs
Everyone needs to eat, but that doesn't mean that your food and beverage company is catering to just any buyer. You need to establish who your target customers are. Millennials are known for their adventurous palates, so you may want to consider these diners if you're promoting exotic flavors.
If you're targeting health-minded consumers, you'll need to keep your finger on the pulse of certain food fads. While low-fat foods were once wildly popular, consumers are now moving toward more high-fat options. A 2015 study indicated that consumption of butter is growing 2 to 4 percent annually. While skim milk sales have fallen 14 percent, whole milk sales rose 11 percent. Organic foods also command a growing share of the market. Organic egg consumption increased 21 percent over just 12 months.
Stay competitive by keeping your offerings fresh. Consider the key features that consumers are looking for in their food products and find ways to continually update and improve your offerings to align with these demands. Maple Leaf Foods made the choice to refresh their product line to meet consumers' demand for products without chemicals and artificial ingredients. You can freshen up your own food and beverage options similarly.
Create a Cooking Experience
The demand for fresh food has led to a rise in the popularity of meal kits. Consumers want to enjoy the experience of preparing fresh, healthy meals at home, but don't always have the time it takes to find nutritious recipes and shop for the ingredients. While Americans are anxious to try the meal kit experience, almost half found the reality unsatisfying. Food and beverage businesses can capitalize on this by finding their own way to meet consumers' desires to add variety to their meal planning, have a fun experience, and save time in their busy lives.
Food and beverage manufacturers will undoubtedly need to use their creativity to find innovative ways to stay competitive. This industry has finite demand outside of population growth, but there are still compelling ways that companies can distinguish themselves in this area.