5 Food Promotions Product Ideas (Plus Sales Tips and More)
There are a lot of ways to show appreciation to clients, partners, employees and customers, but food might be at the top of the list. You probably remember at least one gift you’ve gotten that included food, right? It probably made your perception of the giver a little better, too. There hasn’t really been a better time to think about food in the promotional products industry, either. Companies have been expanding their offerings to fit current buyer trends, incorporating items for dietary restrictions and preferences, and finding creative ways to kit together hard goods and food products.
To get a little more insight on what buyers are looking for, what new products are hitting the market and how distributors can cook up successful food promotions, we spoke with experts from some of the leading promotional food suppliers in the industry. Here’s what they had to say, along with some of our favorite products for inspiration.
1. Speakeasy by Batch & Bodega
Much like its namesake, this kit has a fun secret entrance to get to the goods inside. Jason Lucash, chief development officer for HPG Brands, Braintree, Massachusetts, said that first impressions and a high perceived value are everything in promo, food included.
“There’s been a dynamic shift in the promo industry over the last couple of years for gifts to be something that has a meaningful first impression or will be retained for a while, and the same thing has happened in food,” he said. “Brands no longer want to have their reputation associated with inexpensive, low-quality goods, and we’ve seen the same for food.”
Younger generations’ buying habits drove Lucash during Batch & Bodega’s creation. He recognized that people wanted things from companies that had real faces, stories and identities.
“Overall, the feedback has been that clients and distributors were ecstatic that someone was bringing higher-quality snacks into the food sector of the promo industry, and they were even more happy that we were showcasing the small businesses that were producing them,” Lucash said. “As the overall buyer demographic has changed and skewed more [toward] millennials, this has been the type of product buyers are attracted to and want to put their brand stamp on.”
2. San Ramon Bamboo Cutting Board by Beacon Promotions
Food preparation is an exact science. This cutting board contains natural anti-microbial properties, so end-users can safely prepare meals and keep the product clean for a long time. Bamboo is also easier on the environment, making this one of the most practical tools in the kitchen.
3. Luxury Sweet Box by Chocolate Chocolate
Humans have bonded over food for as long as we’ve been on the planet. Sharing something as simple as a snack with someone else creates a feeling of connection and happiness. What else could you want from a promotional campaign?
“I see food goods as the feel-good item that helps cement the logo [and] message from other items,” said Paul Bishop, account executive for Chocolate Chocolate, Blaine, Washington. “A solution-providing distributor [or] marketer will look for emotions and senses that recipients use, and target products for max effectiveness. But, I have to say, our Belgian chocolate items hit all the senses, and generally make people happy as standalone items.”
Bishop added that there’s no wrong sales vertical for food promotions, but as in-person events return, he thinks people will look for the booths giving away snacks.
“Once we’re full-force back to in-person trade shows, every industry wanting to stand out on a floor are prime customers for custom foods,” he said.
4. Rich Rewards Tower by Maple Ridge Farms
Whatever you’re craving, it’s probably in this box. This gift set is packed with chocolate sea salted potato chips, chocolate-covered almonds, English butter toffee, dark chocolate lemon creams, mixed nuts and cocoa-dusted truffles. Now that’s a feast.
5. Premium Holiday Caramel Apple Gift Basket by Mrs Prindables
In-person events and office life are returning, but the pandemic isn’t over just yet. And many of the consumer trends we’ve seen emerge during the pandemic are likely to stick around. One of those trends? Lots of people still prefer individually wrapped goodies to limit touch points.
“Individually wrapped treats are a must in our world at this time,” said Alexandra Marks, manager of corporate sales at Mrs Prindables, Niles, Illinois.
Seasonal treats are also a good way to get more festive with food promotions, rather than just a one-size-fits-all-seasons snack.
“For fall, caramel apples are in demand and, luckily for us, we have very little competition out there,” Marks said.
Looking beyond just treats, she added that a good gift set includes beverages and even self-care items.
“Confections can be kitted with coffees and mugs, self-care products, and even wines or beers,” Marks said.