The Promotional Pantry
It goes without saying that food is way up there on the hierarchy of needs. Not only does it top the charts of necessity, it is also way up there on the decadent guilty pleasures chart. So to help you sell your piece of the edibles pie, Tom Riordan, president of Maple Ridge Farms, Mosinee, Wis., and Alex Jovetic, vice president of sales, Taylor & Grant Specialties, Buffalo, N.Y. and Chocolate Inn, Freeport, N.Y., gave their top five tips to selling deliciously decadent edible promotions.
TIP 1—KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Tom Riordan: "Probably the biggest trend that we have seen over the last few years is that companies are sending larger gifts to be shared in the office instead of purchasing smaller gifts for individuals."
Both Riordan and Jovetic agree that certain niche markets have a fondness for edible promotions. Some of the biggest eaters are national, regional and community banks, insurance companies and real estate agencies.
Remember: Try the upsell. Never forget the board of directors. Many businesses and nonprofit agencies have board members who love a tasty treat.
TIP 2—KNOW YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN
Alex Jovetic: "Customers are beginning to have expectations of made-in-America and four-color process direct imprints on the many different aspects of food and packaging. Quality of imprint and food from a trusted source are becoming far more prevalent. After instances of contaminated products from sources outside of the United States in the past few years, domestically made food items should be the demand of everyone in this industry. Know where it has been before you put it in your mouth."
Remember: The responsibility of safety is yours. From the moment a product is born or baked product safety responsibility runs through the supply chain. Distributors are equally legally responsible and hold equal liability when it come to providing safe products to their clients.
TIP 3—MAKE IT MEMORABLE
AJ: "We are seeing a move to breath mints and more in our imprinted tins. Tins may be used in every day promotions and provide staying power long beyond the consumable … because people do not throw the tins away. With that in mind, when end-buyers take advantage of our ability to print QR codes on many of our tins, the recipient may scan that code on occasion for years to come. This provides everything the end-buyer could hope for in delivering a message and customer interest and retention."
Remember: QR codes are cost-effective and a great way to move traffic from a tangible product or package to a website with just a simple scan on a smart phone.
TIP 4—REMEMBER THE STRENGTH OF THE SENSES
AJ: "The human senses of smell and taste are among the strongest tied to memory, and you have a powerful advertising medium [in edible products] not found anywhere or with anything else."
Remember: Olfactory sensation or the sense of smell, is extremely powerful. It has a strong connection to emotion and memory. In an article published in Psychology Today, titled "The Emotional Power of Smell", Bruce Turetsky, a University of Pennsylvania associate psychiatry professor explained different scents may "have a greater ability to bring up an emotional memory in you than seeing a picture or hearing a voice." Keep that strength and power in mind when selling edible promotions. The positive feelings associated with food offers a powerful promotional message.