The FINANCIAL -- Food and beverage is one
of the few purchase categories that requires daily decision-making, and
purveyors of consumer packaged goods (CPG) have long been there to
But more and more, consumers are playing a larger role in the conversation, according to a new emarketer report, “User-Generated Food and Beverage Content: Satisfying a Hunger to Create and Share.” When it comes to food, user-generated content creators are primarily sharing two things, each with a different purpose: photos, which provide inspiration, and recipes, which provide utility.
Recipes are one of the most sought-after pieces of food content online. In a May BlogHer survey, 89% of internet users interested in food content went online for recipes.
Allrecipes.com, a site that mixes user-submitted recipes with ones from brands such as Ocean Spray and Philadelphia Cream Cheese, conducted a survey and found that 65% of females who regularly used recipe sites bought branded ingredients called for in the recipes at least sometimes. Twenty-one percent said they “usually” did this.
As emarketer reported, food content is also a huge hit on image-sharing platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. In May 2012 Compete found that food was by far the leading topic category for interactions on Pinterest. For a substantial number of users, discovery led to conversion: 25% overall had bought a product after discovering it on Pinterest, and surprisingly, considering Pinterest’s reputation as a female stronghold, 37% of male users were spurred to buy, compared to just 17% of female users.
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.