Behind every successful food and/or beverage company there’s a marketer who understands the appetite of the audience.
But how to promote something that caters to your smell and taste buds? And still there are food and beverage ads you feel you could just devour with your eyes or ears.
And in an online marketing landscape, that’s not a small feat.
As an eCommerce growth agency, we’ve managed to help numerous food and beverage brands promote their delicious products via different online platforms and channels.
So buckle up, as this blog post will be your menu to understanding the dynamics of food and beverage ads and see what makes a food ad a good ad. Let’s start.
Why You Need a Customized Marketing Strategy For Your Food Ads?
Can you guess how many food and drink companies are there in the US? Yep, many.
But the main point is that that’s probably hundreds of thousands of different food and beverage ads online. Now take this into account:
- The global packaged food market was worth $2T in 2021 and is expected to almost double by 2028.
- Groceries accounted for allmost 44% of all consumer packaged goods eCommerce.
- More than 70% households ordered groceries online in 2022.
That big of a market screams a big opportunity, but also a big competition.
🛑 But be weary as there’s also a lot of downsides to owning a food brand:
- Food is perishable, can have supply chain issues, and is harder to ship abroad,
- Inflation causes price hikes and forces customers to find mass-produced, supermarket options
- Saturated market
- Evolving tastes make customers harder to please
For that reason, a tailored, customized, and well-thought-out marketing strategy is an absolute must.
And luckily, there’s a bunch of trends you can hop on.
How to Promote a Food Brand?
As taste buds evolve, so does food production and promotional methods.
If you’re looking to advertise a food or beverage brand, running traditional ads won’t cut it most of the time.
We’re used to juicy food “porn” images or images of people indulging in tasty meals in various places. So how to do you stand out from the rest? Here are a few things to consider.
Stay-at-Home Food Ads
Recent years have built a new trend when it comes to food and beverage ads. The one that emphasizes you being the chef in your kitchen.
The majority of your audience now either got used to preparing food at home, works from home, and often it’s both. So make sure your food ads cater to their favorite, cozy environment.
🧑🍳 Inflation is getting Gen Zs and Millenials back to the kitchen top with six out of 10 people 25-34 years old cooking more diners from home than last year according to the Institute of Food Technologies.
Now, there are two angles to approach this:
- Your brand as a supplement for home cooking.
- Your brand as the entire home cooking experience.
In the first instance, let’s say you’re a hot sauce manufacturer. Make sure some of your ads target home chefs, people who enjoy cooking at home.
For example, by placing your product next to a person preparing meal in their own kitchen.
In the second instance, you’d want to emphasize the convenience of somebody else delivering all the ingredients to you while you can still indulge in the cooking experience. That’s your Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and similar brands.
Subscription Services Food Ads
This ties in to the above.
The meal kit industry is expected to grow over $17B in 2023 and is forecasted to exceed $25B by the end of 2028, according to Statista.
And even if you’re not a full-meal-kit brand, but still produce of food and beverage—which is naturally consumed once—you can still latch onto the ever-growing subscription industry.
Imagine you’re a coffee brand or a tea brand. It’s something that your shoppers consume every day and won’t take it well if its missing from their countertops.
For any food, snack, or beverage brand, that’s a win-win opportunity. You can:
- Ensure your customers that they’re always supplied
- Attract loyal customers by offering subscription discounts
- Incrase your predictable revenue and retention
So make sure you’ve set up your subscription plan as well and run specific ads for those plans.
No subscription plans? If you’re on an e-commerce platform like Shopify we can help you set up your subscription plans and help you create food subscription ads. CONTACT US HERE.
Sustainability in Food and Beverage Ads
The modern consumer isn’t only thinking about their belly. They are also much aware of the world around them and how their deeds can negatively impact the environment.
Hence, customers are much more likely to purchase a packaged food item if it it includes sustainability claim, as proven by recent reports.
What can you do? Highlight how your product is following sustainability trends in your food and beverage ads:
- Is the packaging sustainable, biodegradable, or reduced?
- Are you supporting local businesses? For instance, are you sourcing from local farms?
- Are you explaining how to re-use or recycle the product? Like, if you can send the packaging back and get new batch of products for discounted price?
Talk About Health When Advertising Food and Beverages
It’s no surprise that after the pandemic, most of consumers started focusing on health.
When you also consider 60% of US consumers have—or live with someone who has—illness that requires a meticulous diet management, you understand how important it is to emphasize that through ads.
A fresh LinkedIn report puts global “functional food” industry—or brands that provide health benefits on top of nutrition—is expected to rise to $41B by 2028.
So to cater to a modern consumer, make sure your ads point out how your food product can have a positive impact on their well being as well as taste buds.
Caution: Search and social online advertising policies aren’t that fond of you making claims about your product and will most probably flag your ads. Don’t make your ad copy say that your product “boosts your memory.” Instead, say it can help you memorize better, or similar.”
Emotional Connection in Food and Drinks Advertising
Customers form a special trust relationship with brands that fulfill their expectations and fill their stomachs.
If you can develop and nurture a good relationship with your customers, you’ll have a much easier time with customer retention.
Our agency experience shows that having top-notch food ads is the first step towards building a special relationship in ecommerce.
Through ads, you acquire customers, through remarketing and awesome email marketing campaigns, you retain them, pamper them, offer them discounts, tell your story, and more.
🏠 In house example: Our client Taste Salud—a tasty hydration and immunity drink—invests a lot in catering their existing customers.
Then when, for example, the brand drops a new flavor—we do an aggressive email campaign which allows the first batch to sell out quickly. Sometimes in a matter of hours.
Food and Beverage Ads Best Practices
Integrate Social Proof In Your Ads
Would you trust a brand telling you a brand is good… or another person?
We already know the answer.
In food and beverage online advertising, social proof—through reviews, ratings, testimonials, or social shares—can significantly enhance credibility and desirability.
It offers a semblance of assurance regarding the taste and quality, which is vital as consumers cannot taste or smell the product online.
By displaying social proof, brands can effectively reduce uncertainty, foster a connection with potential customers, and ultimately drive more sales and brand loyalty.
Work With Influencers
When your favorite content creator tells you something tastes nice, you’re more likely to try it.
Influencers can provide authentic endorsements and visually appealing content that showcases your food brand in real-world settings.
Their testimonials can resonate well with their audience, often leading to better engagement and higher conversion rates.
Moreover, influencers often have a diverse follower base, enabling brands to reach new and niche markets.
By aligning with the right influencers, brands in the food and beverage sector can build credibility, create relatable promotions, and drive purchase intent in a competitive digital marketplace.
Admit it, you’ve probably participated in a food or beverage brand giveaway before. It’s easy, convenient, and sometimes—the prizes are super sweet.
For that reason, you should also do the same for your brand.
Here are a few reasons why ecommerce giveaways rule:
- They encourage engagement, which increases visibility, virality, and attracts potential customers
- It’s a low risk way for consumers to try a product which is crucial for food and beverage sector
- It’s a great source of customer data and feedback
- It’s a cost-effective way to generate leads and boost customer acquisition which you can later hit with retention campaigns
Our agency partners with Vyper.ai, a viral giveaway tool that allows us to host and promote exciting giveaways and acquire tons of first-party data. The image below shows a giveaway we ran with our client Salud which made us acquire almost 100k new emails.
We’re living in a video era and most of the content consumed today is video content.
Plus, video ads can vividly showcase the texture, color, and appeal of food and beverages, creating a sensory experience that static images or text can’t match.
Videos can also tell compelling stories around a brand, fostering emotional connections and showcasing the brand’s values or the enjoyment derived from the products.
🎥 Video content is shareable and has a higher chance of going viral, which can significantly amplify the reach and impact of the advertising campaign. Moreover, with analytics, brands can measure engagement and ROI effectively, making video a valuable asset in a competitive market.
Take a Peek “Over the Fence”
There’s nothing wrong in taking a look at what your competitors are doing… From time to time.
If you’re lacking creative juice and you think you’re missing out on a recent trend or an ad type, you can always check on how your competitors are doing it.
Ad platforms are transparent, and if you know who your competitors are, you can easily find all ads ran by a particular brand in the platforms’ ad library. For example Facebook’s ad library.
Retention is Key
With food and beverage products, you can have customers with a huge lifetime value (LTV) since—if they love your product—they’ll keep coming back for more.
And it’s up to your advertising to remind them to re-supply on your goodies.
Here are some tactics we use in our retention campaigns for food and beverage products:
- FOMO: Scarcity sells. If you have a popular product, you can always propel the sale by saying that products’ stocks are dwindling.
- Discounts for frequent buyers: You can set up an emai workflow that will provide frequent buyers with some special discounts or gifts.
- New product drops: Old customers love new drops and arAlso when you’re launching a new product—be it a new flavor or an entirely new food type—make sure that the build up to that launch is insane.
- Holiday and special day promos: And we ain’t only talking about Christmases, July 4ths, and similar. Make sure that you check all the dates because if you’re selling chocolate, you must have special offers on International Chocolate Day, Sweet Day, Cocoa Day, and similar. Your customers will love it.
Time to Make Some Sweet, Yummy Ads
Navigating the digital landscape to market food and beverage offerings is both an art and a science.
As the online marketplace burgeons, the opportunity to entice tastebuds and fill carts expands exponentially.
With the right mix of creativity and strategic insight, your online ads can not only showcase your products but also build a community of avid supporters, turning casual browsers into lifelong customers.
If you need help in doing so, make sure you give us a nudge.