Over the next decade the demand for authentic specialty foods is slated to increase by a staggering 50%. Do you know how to reach these new consumers? Today’s opportunities reside in creating brands that are tailored to the intricate tastes of cultural segments, not mass audiences. Finding new methods to promote and market your food and beverage product using great packaging combined with traditional in store, social media, search engine marketing, pay per click advertising and other consumer research tools can be critical in building national distribution and increasing unit sales.
Looking back at history we now realize that America's various ethnic groups have not evolved
into the great "melting pot" that we learned of as early as our grade school years.Instead of one unified culture, America is a rich mix of many cultural groups.
These market segments share a common bond through their set of
values — like freedom, equality and prosperity — but remain separated by
their diverse heritages.
Just as they have not assimilated, neither
have their brand preferences, with food representing a key way to honor
their history and maintain their cultural identities.
Watch our short video and see how the nation more aptly resembles a "salad bowl" of diverse cultural influences (or distinct
"ingredients") that complement one another without losing their core
In fact, our different heritages not only make this country unique — they make America the lively, diverse and passionate nation that it is, with citizens forever open to new ideas, ways, styles and products. And we're a nation open to new trends and new tastes — as proven by the many cultural markets that not only influence the
trends and tastes of their own cultural groups, but of many other
groups, as well as mainstream audiences.
With a new set of influential "tastemakers" to
serve, marketers must do their homework so as to reap the potential
rewards. This is the foundation of what we call "Salad Bowl Branding." In this age it's the savviest, not necessarily the strongest, of specialty foods companies that will win… and in this age, daring to be different signals far less risk than remaining the same.
Covering these dynamic markets — and the unprecedented opportunities for today's marketers of specialty foods and beverages — is why we've launched this "Salad Bowl Branding" blog.
We look forward to sharing our opinions, getting your feedback, engaging in dialog and bringing you the most recent statistics, forecasts and developments in this ever-changing and always exciting industry.
"The U.S. isn’t a melting pot, and hasn’t
been for years. It’s more like a salad bowl of diverse ethnicities,
with ingredients that get tossed together but retain their
individuality. And these flavors are influencing everything else.
First, these tastemakers put new flavors and products–from yellow rice
to wasabi peas to San Marzano tomatoes–on the map. Then mainstream
Americans, already familiar with concepts like Tex-Mex and Pan-Asian,
are eager to try them too. Ethnic and specialty foods now account for
one out of every seven grocery dollars, and 73% of consumers reported
purchasing specialty foods in 2007, compared to 64% in 2006, he says.
And in the last two years, sales of specialty foods have risen 17%, far
outpacing other food sales."
Fact is, America is witnessing an unprecedented period of growth, with opportunities for innovation in specialty foods at an all-time high due to the mainstream’s demand and adoption of new offerings. Again, the article is located right here–and if you’re looking for more information on Salad Bowl Branding please check out these FAQs.
The recent MediaPost article titled, "Look for Ethnic Comestibles to Find Way into American Hands," cites some very interesting developments for specialty foods. As the article explains, "Americans my be the kings and queens of hand-held foods–burgers, sandwiches, pizza–but their tastes will be increasingly fed by more international cuisines.
According to the CCD’s most-recent "Culinary Trend Mapping" report (published jointly with Packaged Facts), Americans are likely to move toward seeking out and eating hand-held foods that have more of an ethnic flair, in part as a reflection of a diversifying culture. The trends, which include fare such as Indian dosas, Chinese baos and Latin American empanadas, are starting to emerge in urban areas and university cafeterias, says CCD trendologist Kara Nielsen.
"[University] food service centers cater to ethnically diverse people who cross-pollinate," Nielsen tells Marketing Daily. "As these young people get out of college, they’ll be looking for [these foods] in regular life."
The more ethnic foods, such as dosas and baos, are still considered an emerging trend that could take some time to develop, perhaps as long as
five years, Nielsen says. But she notes that food trends are moving from the ethnic fringe to the mainstream at an ever-increasing pace. ‘The general American’s knowledge of food has increased exponentially,’ she says. ‘Immigrants are landing everywhere. Things are moving faster than they were 10 or 15 years ago.’"
The article also speaks to the exciting implications for grocery stores, positing, "As a treat, the report predicts Mexican paletas, which are frozen pops made from fresh fruit or vegetables, mixed with spices, water or milk and maybe some sugar, to be a growing category. Early adopters, such as foodies, bloggers and reporters are keen on their freshness and unusual flavors, Nielsen says. While the trend is still considered very nascent, Nielsen notes that paleta chains and distributors are already branching out beyond their traditional Latin areas. ‘You’re starting to get options in grocery stores,’ Nielsen says."