ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two in five members of Generation Z and one in four millennial consumers agree that social media exposes them to types of food they previously never heard of, according to the “2018 Foodservice Trends” report from consumer research firm Mintel.
More foodservice operators are adding branded elements to food and beverages with the knowledge that the item will probably be photographed and may end up on a social media site. This trend is driven by young people, the ones most engaged on social media; however, with traditional media publications often reporting on social media trends, brand awareness can reach consumers that go far beyond the average social media users.
According to Baking Business, bakeries should capitalize on this potential advertising opportunity by teaming up with food service operators to create products that intrigue social media users. Tapping into food holidays is a good place to start.
Between 2015 and 2017, social media posts for National Doughnut Day increased 104%, Mintel noted. Dawn Foods of Jackson, Michigan, collaborates with its bakery customers by providing donuts that can be customized to promote current holidays or trends. The company’s ready-to-finish line of doughnuts includes 30-plus options that can be topped with unique ingredients, which gives foodservice operators the flexibility to experiment with different toppings and designs.
“We are constantly working to provide the tools and products our customers need to grow their bakeries,” said Jennifer LaPaugh, senior director, global market research and insights at Dawn Foods. “Doughnuts are highly versatile and infinitely customizable. The product offers bakeries an ability to take their menus even further.”
The role social media plays in consumers’ purchases will continue to develop as younger generations mature. While taste remains paramount to a product’s success, presentation also will play a large factor.