Facebook IQ just sent out some interesting information based on the use of hashtags. Here are three major shifts they see in what people are expecting from food, each followed by an opportunity for you.
Shift #1: “People are redefining what snacking means. In today’s busy culture, it’s no surprise that nearly 4 in 10 consumers in the US agree that anything can be considered a snack. And when people are talking snacks on Facebook, they’re also talking about foods that can traditionally be considered part of a meal, like salads, French fries and sandwiches. Hashtag #isameal is another hashtag that pops up among conversations about snacks on Facebook, again suggesting that lines between what’s a meal and what’s a snack are softening for people.”
Opportunity #1: In a recent study, researchers found people overconsume when they consider what they’re eating to be a “snack.” Some clever food marketer is going to zag against what most would see as great news for sales in this data and help consumers be sure to be aware of the possibility of eating too much at snack time — and sabotaging their eating.
Shift #2: “Convenience drives people’s food choices and motivates them to shop for and prepare food in new ways. Similarly, the need for convenience may also be driving the rise of meal kits (subscription services like Blue Apron or Plated). And recent research shows that on average, for each layer of convenience added to the food purchase journey, people are willing to pay up to 11% more.”
Opportunity #2: Cooking sucks for most people. So why couldn’t you go outside your product and help it suck less? First, acknowledge the struggle. Next, give people some super easy ways to prepare the makings of meals. Feel free to rip off the suggestions here.
Shift #3: “Where food comes from is crucial. The origins — or provenance and history — of food is top-of-mind. And where our food comes from is expressed in a variety of ways on Facebook — like conversation topics on ancient and regional influences, as well as roots in nature…On Facebook, people all over the country are talking about foods from ancient cultures.”
Opportunity #3: Like so many of the buzzwords we use, “ancient” can cause consumers to think, “This is going to help me lose weight and solve all my problems.” You have an opportunity to educate beyond the product. Just by putting some context around what the new word means, and what it doesn’t, you can teach one tiny morsel to your consumers, and make them more loyal at the same time.
Read the entire Facebook IQ article, Three Shifts in Food Culture as Seen Through Facebook and Instagram.
Be digestible. And thanks.