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How do you find out about new food products (food CGP's)?

It seems as though most major advertising mediums have ads related to car insurance, fast food, and smartphones or other companies with large budgets. What ad strategy would recommend a to small business that manufacturers food products?

6 Replies

Jordan Finger
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Jordan Finger Entrepreneur
E-commerce, Digital Marketing, Ad-Tech, Customer Acquisition, Mobile Commerce
Mihir,

Is your goal to drive awareness of your brands for the customer to purchase at retail?

Are you trying to create online awareness to drive to an e-commerce store?

If you can provide more insight as to your goals and desired KPIs so I could help provide more insight that provides you the most value.

Jordan
Chris Carruth
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Chris Carruth Advisor
VP/Director. Strategy | Business Development | Operations | Product | Solutions
That is such a wide open question hard to answer. Is the food product a specialty product or mass market? Is the product one of 100 other entrants or unique in its ability to establish a new category/sub-category? Who is the market? These and many more really impact the answer.

In general my experience for a new product, especially if in a crowded category, is that some level of sales must be established before you can approach any sizable chain, broker or distributor. Not always, but usually. That means you beating the pavement and pitching to small privately held retail stores to get shelf space, whether that is at POS, an end cap or front facing shelf space. It is very tough to go directly to 100 mph without building sales store by store when starting out.

In terms of advertising focus on the display/packaging to be the ad vehicle, backed up by smart use of social media. You won't be able to cost effectively "advertise" in the beginning, it is very expensive. On top of that even just paying slotting costs in traditional retail can be very expensive. Not to mention that you have to figure into the cost of the product other expenses like coop marketing dollars and retailer incentives. These costs are why the markup on many items is very high - the cost of actually getting to a sale is very expensive.

If you don't have a background in food, food distribution, or channel sales I would recommend you get some pro-bono advice from others that can take a close look at what you have. People in this industry usually will help if approached correctly, or at least that has been my experience.

Chris



Mihir Shah
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Mihir Shah Advisor
President at Dishoom Foods, Inc.
Great questions. Thank you.

We have flavored natural/specialty popcorn products that are vegan, gluten-free, and Non-GMO. We sell primarily to Whole Foods and their customer-type. A couple of stores will do the end-cap promo which works very well but not all so we have to do in-store demos and external events to create product awareness and have the customer look for it on the shelf to increase sales units.

Even after several years on being on the market, many people say to us, "I've never heard of this product" so I am thinking of ways to create consumer awareness and the purchase.
Chris Carruth
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Chris Carruth Advisor
VP/Director. Strategy | Business Development | Operations | Product | Solutions
Oh, ok so you are out in retail already. If that is the case and the brand is not known..but of course wanting to be known, have you looked at experential/event-based marketing combined with social media?

Sometimes outlandish approaches to creating awareness work better than tried and true methods, especially if the target market is younger where traditional advertising is not only less trusted but far less relevant than what your friends consume. This approach takes time but building brand equity always is, even if you are an established brand that is branching into areas you are not known for.

Congrats on being in Whole Foods!
Mihir Shah
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Mihir Shah Advisor
President at Dishoom Foods, Inc.
Thank you, Chris!

We participate in several targeted unique events where people can taste the products but need to look for something more unique. Also need better visibility in WF.
Jennifer Beever
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Jennifer Beever Entrepreneur
Marketing Consultant | CMO for Hire | Digital & Inbound Marketing for Growing Companies
Have you tried targeted advertising on Twitter and Facebook? You can target individuals and demographics.
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