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2018 Food Marketing Trends: What's on the Menu?

How can we stand out from the crowd? What channels should we use? Is there a way to get consumer buy-in on the ingredients we sell to our customers?

Planning for the year ahead can be a taxing time for B2B marketing professionals in the food and nutrition industry. Developing a strong communications strategy and concrete plan to support business objectives is no mean feat—but it’s not all doom and gloom. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the latest trends and anticipating future market shifts can pay serious dividends, helping to create a proposal that delivers long-term success. What can we expect from the industry in 2018, and how does this tie in with successful B2B marketing strategies in the food and nutrition space?

1.       Personalised nutrition

Personalisation is now everywhere, and it’s not going away any time soon. With the aid of new technology and an ever-growing market of more targeted nutritional solutions to choose from, consumers are taking ownership of their health. People are now more proactive in researching options to suit their specific needs, and increasingly expect to see products that are tailored to their own diet and lifestyle. This is driving change in the food and nutrition industry landscape as we know it.

New product launches to fulfil consumer requirements will engage customers and bring new prospects to the table. With the help of innovation teams and application experts, B2B marketers must ensure that their business solutions shine in an ever-crowded market by showing they can cater to the needs of specific groups.

2.       Clean label

Transparency is key when it comes to trusting brands—and there is work to be done. Supply chain scandals have created scepticism amongst consumers, and fears over food safety and sustainability means suspicion is rife. According to a new Mintel report, only one in five Canadian adults interviewed said they trusted manufacturer labels on product packaging. In 2018, the whole food industry must address the need for accountability and disclose clear, specific information about their products. By being transparent over the ingredients they sell and their supply chains, businesses can support their customers with correct labelling and marketing of end products to consumers. And B2B marketers in food manufacturing companies can help build consumer trust by developing communications that deliver straight talking, honest and clear messages.  

3.       Fun dosage forms

Moving into next year, the nutrition industry must answer the growing ‘pill fatigue’ expressed by consumers. While many people are happy to continue taking dietary supplements in the traditional way, businesses need to diversify their portfolios to answer demand for alternative, enjoyable options. Varied and innovative delivery systems can pave the way for increased market share and can help bat away the competition. Recent product launches to address this growing trend include gummies, drinks and powders that can be consumed without water. B2B marketers in the nutrition industry can propel the momentum of this movement with their 2018 plans, and it will be interesting to see how future new product development activity unfolds.

4.     Different purchasing channels

So, where does the magic happen? To reach customers and prospects with engaging, relevant content, B2B marketers in the food and nutrition industry need to know where their target audience will be. There are now various online channels that can be used to share both organic and paid for targeted content, which evolve year on year. Whether it be promotion on social media platforms that offer excellent targeting options, like LinkedIn, or Google AdWords PPC that can help drive traffic to an event landing page on a company’s website—the digital world can offer a multitude of opportunities. Add some GDPR compliant lead generation and CRM in the mix, and marketers can create tailored user journeys that will help lead to conservations and, ultimately, conversions.

It’s clear from working within the food and nutrition industry, that changes do and will happen. Being prepared for what’s to come is crucial to staying ahead of the curve and delivering success.

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