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May 12, 2022

Hacks for Stealing Market Share as a Food Supplier in 2022

Tony Treadway

Stealing market share as a food supplier in 2022

The great shakeout is underway among food suppliers. Over the next six months, smart food marketers will steal market share and profit from those less nimble or strategic in their actions. As one of the top food-focused ad agencies in the country, we eat being nimble for breakfast as we help clients mold both short and long-term strategies that steal share when opportunity knocks.

Here is a peek behind the curtain of how we think and how we’re helping Creative Energy clients win.

  1. When A Competitor Stumbles, Strike.

Scores of major fumbles by big suppliers have seen smaller competitors steal share by reacting quickly during COVID, and it continues today. A dominant brand in the condiment category starts shorting smaller restaurant chains to assure that its biggest customers would have an ample supply. One client struck quickly by marketing itself as a go-to solution. The result is a progression of month-to-month sales records more than a year after the opportunity arose. Its social strategy is to change consumer minds on the best bottled ketchup due to its flavor and support of an irresistible social cause.

Switching brand preferences.
Consumers are switching brand preferences. Now’s the time to take advantage of competitors who stumble.

Just days ago, another premier condiment brand told customers that it would soon be out of stock of its famous sauce until October. Within a day our agency was supporting the client’s effort to strike fast and strike now, and do it smartly, to steal share that has the opportunity to quickly double or even triple its sales of the product in a matter of a month.

  • Chase The Underlying Cause Behind Plant-Based

Fads are short-term, and trends are long-lasting. Plant-based foods are a great example. Every restaurant operator has plant-based products on their radar because of the overwhelming interest of the Gen Z demographic. The real underlying trend behind the fad is the transformational shift in consumer thinking during COVID about climate change, sustainability, and the functionality of the foods that they eat.

Datassential reports that 60% of consumers will always opt for real protein over plant-based products. Gaining a foothold in the remaining 40%, equaling $244 billion in foodservice sales alone* is a worthy cause. Yet, food companies should use rifle-targeted marketing to spend dollars wisely for any plant-based initiative, such as the college & university and fast-casual segments. Plant-based foods will be challenged within mainstream restaurant chains because of the premium price it must command amidst inflation.

For the mainstream audience, spend your money on turning up the volume on the healthy benefits of the foods that you sell and the sustainable actions that you are taking to preserve the environment.

Sustainable foods.
Sustainably delicious seafood can benefit from the consumer trend toward functional, sustainable foods.

For example, one sustainable seafood account has garnered extreme interest from both restaurants and consumers because of the deliciously high benefits of the Omega 3s within their fish and their unique approach to nurturing the world while preserving the environment encompassed by a dramatic brand anthem that we built. That’s a trend that will be long-lasting.

  • Keep It Simple

Restaurant operators and consumers alike have gone from experimentation with long-form recipes in their food prep. Restaurants are still recovering and consumers are back to kids in school and soccer practice. Most are back in the office for at least a few days a week.

Thus, when marketing new menu applications for restaurants or recipes for consumers, no recipe offered should include more than five ingredients that are easy and affordable to acquire.   

  • Lead Gen Has Never Been So Important

We’ve never seen so much interest in the generation of quality, actionable leads for our clients—and we are delivering. Clients are hungry for leads to ignite their sales force now that they are back on the road.

The top image in e-marketing can capture leads efficiently through relevance to its target customer, like this activation for a butter client targeting caterers and country clubs and resorts.

We recently scored e-marketing hits for clients resulting in click-thru rates of more than 30% through stunning messaging and relevant content. E-marketing offers the fastest and most cost-effective route to lead generation. Make sure your agency partner understands the segments in which you probe to assure that e-marketing content has relevance to your target segment’s pain points. Build gated content to capture leads with enough information on the gate to make informed decisions on directing sales efforts to the leads that you generate.

The next few months will create more winners than losers among our portfolio of food clients looking to increase market share and sales. If you are ready to ignite this year’s sales, let’s talk.

*Technomic, April 2022