User-Generated Food and Beverage Content

User-Generated Food and Beverage Content

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Food and beverage is the one of the few purchase categories that requires daily  decision-making. It’s nearly impossible to escape the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” Purveyors of consumer packaged goods (CPG) have long been there to provide answers, from back-of-the-box recipes to cookbooks suggesting new ways to incorporate their products into customers’ culinary repertoires.

But more and more, consumers are playing a larger role in the conversation. Regular people are seeking out inspiration from the like-minded, and a host of subjects are being discussed. Internet users have moved beyond meat and potatoes; they’re blogging about gluten-free stir-fries, pinning photos of rainbow layer cakes and submitting family biryani recipes to community cooking sites.

 

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What was once niche—taking photos of food and writing about meals online—is transforming into a mainstream activity, and one that provides an opportunity for marketers to pull up a chair at the table. Whether it’s giving kudos to user recipes and photos online, working with bloggers to promote and develop content, or encouraging sharing through contests, brands can engage consumers by connecting with their passions. When it comes to making product decisions, consumers will always trust people like themselves over faceless corporations, so investing in user-generated content is a sound way to humanize food and beverage brands—no Jolly Green Giant or Aunt Jemima necessary.

Who’s Consuming Food Online? 

When it comes to food, user-generated content creators are primarily sharing two things, each with a different purpose for consumers: photos, which provide inspiration, and recipes, which provide utility.

A Recipe for Engagement Recipes are one of the most sought-after pieces of food content online, and recipe sites are also highly influential on purchase decisions. Meal-planning information was one of the leading food topics of interest in both a December 2011 study by MSLGROUP  and The Hartman Group and in a May 2012 BlogHer survey. Eighty-nine percent of internet users surveyed by BlogHer went online for recipes. MSLGROUP specifically asked about food topics internet users were attracted to when on social media and found one-quarter were most interested in  meal-planning ideas, including recipes.

Publish Date: November 2016

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