Opinion: Produce marketing trends to watch in 2017

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Opinion: Produce marketing trends to watch in 2017

By Oster & Associates president Bev Oster

Bev Oster - npanoramaWith the new year right around the corner, businesses and agencies are wrapping up their 2017 marketing plans in hopes of having higher returns next year. Actions to embrace marketing trends should be carefully considered as additions to marketing plans, for in marketing it is sometimes best to jump on the bandwagon early. Look out for, or join these trends in the produce industry soon:

Mobile marketing to reach all customers of the buying chain

The produce business is evolving. Gone are the days where the only place to reach distributors was a printed trade publication or ads on their desktop computer. Today, targeting your specific market doesn’t stop when they step away from their desk.

Now, mobile marketing can provide customers with time and location-sensitive, personalized information anywhere they bring their mobile devices. With the introduction of apps and e-commerce features on social media platforms, it’s never been easier to make purchases through and place ads on mobile devices.

People are embracing this trend. It’s rare that anyone in the produce business is at their desktop all day, every day. By seeing relevant information on mobile devices that otherwise wouldn’t reach customers on their desktop computers allows customers to be educated and inspired by new products and innovations.

Millennials are shaping the industry

Millennials are the generation born between 1982 and 2004, approximately. They are technology-inspired, highly educated, well travelled and health-conscious. New studies have shown “real food and information about where food comes from” is more important than low prices.

Companies that already market sustainable and organic products have a huge advantage over those who don’t when it comes to Millennials. To ensure a profitable 2017, companies should target Millennials, feature their organic products, and share information about the sustainability efforts of the company including where the products came from and how they got to the store. Brands will benefit from these actions, as Millennials consistently buy products and shop at companies that support good causes and activities.

Organic, local and sustainable food is in demand

Millennials see the above aspects as a high priority, and the rest of the country is agreeing. Sales of organic food have grown steadily annually. Experts predict the industry's share of the U.S. food market will continue to grow 1.5% by the end of the decade. One of our clients, Organics Unlimited, provides organic produce in a socially responsible way, without the use of chemicals and their products are widely in demand. 

Buyers are also becoming more aware that buying locally grown, sustainable products helps stimulate local economies and ensures food security.

Advertising trends

The upcoming year will bring changes to the produce industry’s advertising efforts, thanks primarily to new technology. Incorporating video in social media advertising is gaining popularity, as it is the most efficient way to share real-time, creative and eye-catching updates with your target market. Currently, more consumers prefer digestible video content over text. Influencer marketing, where one key individual is compensated for promoting products to their follower base, has become extremely popular.

The opportunities to grow your produce business through marketing efforts are yours for the taking. Don’t wait until your competitors beat you to it. Consider mobile marketing efforts, targeting Millennials, featuring organic, sustainably grown and locally sourced produce and incorporating video in your advertisements. Hit the ground running in 2017!



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