You can’t scroll through your social feed without encountering at least one discussion about food. Whether it’s a friend boasting about his latest culinary adventure or a new mom seeking advice about finger-foods for her toddler, consumers are discussing food-related topics today more than ever before. In fact, conversations about grocery shopping alone have totaled over 17 billion posts since 2010. While these conversations may be fun for consumers, they offer valuable insights for marketers.
Discovering Food Trends On Social Media
A growing awareness about food and the food industry has expanded the demand for organic, ethically produced food. This is reflected in the growth of the organic products market, which was valued at $39 billion in 2016 and continues to grow. Social media conversation reflects this trend, with foods percieved as "healthy", such as vegetables, fruits, and chicken dominating share of voice, while conversations around beef and pork have declined.
Why Dining In Is “In”
Although researchers found that more than half of Millennials dine out at least three times a week, social conversations indicate that trend may be shifting. Social discussion trends indicate that conversations about “dining in” or “eating in,” along with “takeout” or “delivery”, have increased since 2016. More important, emotional sentiment about dining at home is more often associated with joy (76%) than dining out (27%). What’s driving this trend? Social listening reveals that dining in typically involves time spent with family or friends. Many express their gratitude for sharing meals together in their homes, bringing them happiness and relaxation. Second, consumers perceive home-cooked meals as healthier for both themselves and their families. Finally, Millennials favor the handmade and “authentic” and may perceive home cooking as more worthy of a social brag.
Surprisingly, one of the most-discussed topics on social is lunch. Within the lunch conversation, more than one-third involves parents wanting to prepare a healthy school lunch for their children. Parents, and increasingly, kids, say their school lunches are not healthy or appealing enough and this has prompted parents to come up with packable alternatives their kids will eat. Social conversations center around the types of snacks parents can purchase at the grocery store including fruit, veggies, cheese, yogurt, and crackers. But parents aren’t only concerned about the healthfulness of the ingredients, they are also concerned about the allergy impact of certain foods with rising interest in allergy and free-from claims (nut free, wheat free, gluten free) both for their own children and to comply with school guidelines.
The healthy living trend has gone mainstream and that’s generated more discussion on social about the best recipes, products, and approaches to nutrition. Social listening offers marketers the opportunity to understand what consumers are taking about, address their concerns, and discover what makes them happy. Learn how our suite of marketing services, including digital listening, can help food and beverage marketers lead the conversation and drive brand awareness. Contact us today to learn more about our marketing strategy services.
Sources: Crimson Hexagon A Social Media Analysis of Trends in the CPG Industry 2017, Crimson Hexagon U.S. Consumer Trends Report 2017, Bankrate/The Cashlorette Survey 2017