By Lucy Atherton
Head of Social Media at Sinclaire Knight Marketing
Recent research suggested that at least 40% of social media users have at some time posted photos of their food. With this in mind, producers and restauranteurs should be actively encouraging customers to post about their products. They should also encourage customers to tag them in – it’s fantastic free advertising. If you are in the food business, also think about posting appealing photos as often as you can, so they can be readily shared.
Alabama Chocolate Fudge Cake from www.ministryofcake.co.uk
First it was all about superberries, but now the trend is super colour. Purple foods in particular are key health ingredients, as they contain anthocyanins. New research suggests these increase longevity and reduce dementia. Purple foods include blueberries, pomegranate and sweet potato. If your products are colourful, now is the time to post about it. Read more.
Public Health England is challenging businesses to cut sugar by 20% in 2020 and 5% this year. Nestlé is leading the way by reducing sugar in its chocolate bars by 30% and replacing it with higher cocoa content. Anyone involved with the food industry needs to act proactively on this, to make sure customers know you’re taking it seriously. Read more.
Innovation is such a challenge. Collections of sweets hidden inside a piñata-like cake or inventive fillings such as popping candy? How about something you’d expect to be sweet but turns out to be savoury (or vice versa). More serious producers are also looking at using exotic fruit such as rambutans and lychees, or unusual milk (look out for almond and even camel!). Cakes filled with tiny, bright confections are all over social media – with sprinkles on everything, plus rainbows and even fairy dust.
Coffee is inspiring and is found as a flavour in everything from sweets to cocktails. Soon you’ll be seeing more coffee shakes, snacks and frozen treats in shops and other areas of the food industry. This is due to the fact that target consumers – GenZ and younger Millennials – have all grown up socialising at Starbucks and other cool cafes. Sadly, afternoon tea has had its day (well, this year anyway…)
Four layer chocolate fudge cake from www.ministryofcake.co.uk
Chocolate Cake for Breakfast
We’re not joking. This is seriously being offered by restaurants and cafes after multiple research has indicated the health benefits of dark chocolate. Tel Aviv University has even recommended eating chocolate cake for breakfast because our metabolism is most active in the morning.
This is currently a massive topic in the food industry. Companies like Rubies in the Rubble, which creates products from rejected fruit and veg, are attracting positive attention from the press and consumers. There is now a bigger emphasis on using leftover ingredients, making sure you buy in season and making the most of large gluts of produce – particularly in late summer. So, if you’re not currently addressing this issue it’s about time you did.
And don’t forget your Food Awareness Days
10-16 April – UK Coffee Week
21 April – National Tea Day
16 June – National Picnic Week
June TBC – Strawberry Tea – Breast Cancer Care, National Cream Tea Day
3-16 July – Wimbledon Fortnight
7 July – World Chocolate Day
August TBC – Afternoon Tea Week
1 October – International Coffee Day
2-8 October – National Cake Week
21 October – Apple Day
October TBC – Bramley Apple Pie Week, Chocolate Week, Buy British Day