Snack on These Six Tips for Selling Food Promotions
We all have our own preferences, especially when it comes to food. While some of us like the salty side of the food spectrum, others need a sugary fix to get them through the morning, meeting or wherever the day ultimately takes them.
Whatever side you find yourself on, there’s always going to be a food item that satisfies and curbs any food craving. Some might turn to a more caffeinated option to combat the two o’clock slump. Others might look for a more nutritious alternative. Food items are a great way for your clients to show off their company logos—and they also act as a great promotional product for end-users. Talk about a sweet (or salty) and comforting thought. Here are six things to keep in mind for your next food promotion.
1. Challenge Accepted
Sometimes it’s hard to believe there’d be any challenges in selling food promotions. Unless you’re in the industry, you might ask yourself, “Who would turn down food?” But it isn’t quite that simple. We asked the team at Chocolate Chocolate, Blaine, Wash., to shed light on the challenges distributors might face in selling promotional food items.
“The biggest challenge we see is the mental block, both of distributors and end-users. People think that because a logoed piece of chocolate gets eaten, it doesn’t have staying power with the recipient,” the team explained. “Education [on how] taste and smell are two of the strongest memory triggers, and pure, Belgian chocolate definitely tastes and smells fabulous. Add the tactile feeling of it, and the ‘feel good’ result of people receiving it, and it’ll definitely be remembered!”
2. Freshness Guaranteed
Another thing to keep in mind while selling food promotions, according to the experts, is the shelf life of a product. While some food products could survive up to half a year, others have a much earlier expiration date. Nate Hedtke, vice president of marketing for Hospitality Mints, Boone, N.C., said that, generally speaking, this is one of the major challenges in dealing with food promotions.
Alexandra Marks, corporate sales manager for Mrs. Prindable's, Niles, Ill., explained how her company maintains and ensures the freshness of its food products.
“Our products are perishable (apples) so the hot or cold weather has an extreme effect on them. We avoid any freezing or melting issues by adjusting the shipping methods,” she said. “Regarding timing for perishable food, we do not produce an order until the day before it ships in order to get the freshest product possible to the client and give them the longest shelf life possible.”
3. Most Memorable
If there’s one thing we know it’s that chocolate is absolutely a fan favorite. But what exactly is it that makes promotional chocolate a hit? Is it the taste, the shape, maybe the company that personalized it? The Chocolate Chocolate team shared their thoughts.
“Custom chocolate is a great product for promotional use,” they said. “Because everybody loves good chocolate, and the strong memory triggers result in being memorable, it’s perfect if the end-user wants people to remember their name or slogan.”
Marks stressed quality over quantity.
“Make sure you are using a food manufacturer that has the ability to drop-ship directly to your clients. Then focus on the quality of the product and not just on a huge basket filled with product that will not thrill [end-users],” Marks explained. “The clients will remember a delicious treat far longer than a huge basket.”
4. All Decked Out
Decoration isn’t just for holidays or special occasions. The actual food might be the main event, but decoration still plays a large part in presentation. Just make sure the food still tastes good!
Marks told us how Mrs. Prindable's views decoration when it comes to selling to end-buyers.
“We focus more on the product than decoration for our gifts, however, we do offer branding on all of our petite apples. Remember, most branding on food items gets thrown away, so focus on quality.”
Hedtke added that it’s always nice to have decoration options for clients.
“In the case of our custom mints, we have the capabilities of printing on both the front and back of the wrapper. So, in addition to putting a business’s logo on the front, we have three different areas on the back where they can print different messages and promote what they’d like to their customers,” he said. “We have the ability of mixing up to five different wrappers in a case, ultimately giving businesses the ability to offer a wide variety of branding and messaging alternatives.”
5. Trending Now
Trends come and go. That’s why it’s best to stay up to date with what’s popular among end-users. Between designs, types of food and more, we were curious to know what kinds of trends we can expect to see in the promotional food market.
Marks suggested getting in on the recent health-kick. “Healthy snacks are in the spotlight, and what is more healthy than an apple?” she said.
The Chocolate Chocolate team spoke on the importance of product safety, which relates to the health trend. People want to know what’s in their food, and they want food from manufacturers they can trust.
“One of the biggest things affecting us right now are the certifications we’re working on,” they said. “We’re in the process of getting certified globally, to be recognized as a safe, quality food processor. It doesn’t mean we changed much, but certifications can certainly open doors with larger end-users.”
6. Have Fun
Distributors should always take into account what promotional food items perform well and which ones, well, that don’t. And giving examples of certain food promotions that did well can inspire clients to get creative with the way they execute their own promotions. Remember, food promotions can be super fun—it’s up to you to convey that to your clients. Marks recalled a time that Mrs. Prindable's assisted on an unforgettable food promo for a distributor client.
“We had a client sending an invite to their very top A-List clients to an event in New York City and sent each person a Jumbo Triple Chocolate Gourmet Caramel Apple with an invitation,” she explained. “The invite said ‘We look forward to seeing you at our event but in the meantime here is a taste of the Big Apple.’ It was a great idea, and our jumbo apples are really big!”