What is Food PR?
Customers are no longer satisfied with food that just tastes good. They want to know where their food was grown, how it was grown, and why it was grown. Food and beverage PR firms help tell a supplier’s story, so consumers can feel good about what they’re putting in their body.
Effective food PR firms understand what’s motivating a customer to crack a can, open a pack, or slice a tin. It aligns a company’s brand with a customer’s values, and prioritizes mission above packaging. And it also strives to include; today’s food and beverage brands are increasingly aware of their customers’ allergies and sensitivities, and must work to produce products that anyone can enjoy.
How Food PR Works
Mimic the village model
In the pre-industrial age, most people bought their food from local farmers and fishermen. You knew your supplier by name, and sealed your shop with a handshake. Today people are increasingly curious — and skeptical — about their food chain. They want to know where the food was grown, and which hands it passed through before arriving on their plate. The more you can humanize your farmers, the more comfortable your customer will feel putting your food on their plate.
A picture's worth a thousand words
It's hard to make someone's mouth water with a sentence. Hunger and thirst are instincts, and instincts respond to imagery above language. Don't skimp on food and beverage photography or video. A great photograph of your signature pasta is worth 1,000 words about it — no matter how many juicy adjectives you drop in.
A lot of people feel like environmental health is out of their hands, and in the hands of powerful industrialists and politicians. Green shopping puts power back in consumers' hands, and helps them feel they're making a difference. If your food brand isn't focused on sustainability, you may want to reassess mission.
Food PR Best Practices
Build company practices around annoying questions
Have you ever been stuck behind someone with a handlebar mustache and hand tattoos, who insists on asking if the soy in his soy latte is local? Yes, millennials ask annoying questions. And that's a good thing. Annoying questions force brands to raise practices to meet the high standards of today's eco-conscious consumer.
Keep things fresh (no pun intended)
In order to tell a story, you need to have one. Many food and beverage companies have been around for decades, and don't regularly revisit their brand's narrative. Food PR campaigns provide an opportunity to modernize identity, while retaining core values.
Keep your picture in focus
Photo shoots are a marketer's best friend. A good photographer's will determine certain visual elements to emphasize: color, texture, freshness, size. This forces hard choices. What exactly makes your hamburger, fruit, pasta, or soda so appealing? Once these visual selling points are established, you can work them into messaging.