The Incredible, Edible Sale
Though Salzman reported a former marketing push for his company was to encourage distributors to fill their mug promos with coffee or another of its assorted beverages, he noted the upsell strategy has fallen a bit by the wayside. Instead, 75 percent of his coffee packets are being handed out individually, either as thank-you gifts or simply as a way to get in front of a customer.
As office workers around the world can attest, when the midday doldrums hit, it takes more than just one food group to satisfy. With diversified offerings such as meat-and-cheese platters as well as chocolates and cookies, Mosinee, Wisconsin-based Maple Ridge Farms understands the power of the sweet and savory. According to company president Tom Riordan, the dueling flavors have duked it out (saleswise) over the years. “When we started our business 29 years ago, cheese-and-sausage packages represented 100 percent of our sales. Over the next 27 years, as we added more and more products like chocolate, fresh-roasted nuts and smoked meats we saw that percentage drop to about five percent of sales,” he reported. Over the past two years, however, sales for cheese-and-sausage combos have almost doubled. And so it goes.
Yet, Riordan is quick to point out that strategy is almost as important as content when it comes to the short-lived nature of edible promotions. He offered up two important questions worth asking customers: “Do they want a gift that contains some tangible item (with their logo on it) that will remain after the food has been enjoyed,” and, “What do they know about the recipient?” Putting extra thought into packaging and treat assortment can ensure more people remember the snack, long after the food is gone.
Sending meat through the mail might seem puzzling, but according to Fran Ford, executive vice president at Saginaw, Texas-based Vaquero Meat & Provisions Company, it’s a great opportunity to get inside a customer’s world. “You [can] take your customer [or] employee out to dinner in their own home and have them enjoy it with the most universal outdoor experience you can have with friends and family,” she said.