The Produce Industry's Evolving Consumer

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Presented at The Produce Marketing Association High Performance Management Conference

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  • Hello everyone – My name is Maryanne Conlin I’m a CPG marketer specializing in digital communications. I’ve worked in the food industry for the past 15 years and in the produce industry specifically for the last 4. I’ve been in the thick of things as the way that consumers communicate has created a sea change in the marketing of produce
  • I’m going to be talking about 4 areas today, starting with the bigger picture and working our way down to skills that you can use in this new digital economy. I’d like to make this an interactive session and so would like to take a few minutes between each of these sections to discuss what the topic and answer questions. The last topic we’ll cover will be working with you to see how what we’ve discussed this afternoon relates to you and your organization.
  • Talk about consumer trends. There are a number of trends, of course that impact our industry, but I’m going to talk to today about some macro shifts that will drive the way we go to market and then we can talk about what else you are seeing from your perspective in your business.
  • The first is the Bifurcation of consumers. Looking at consumer segments in produce marketing, a division is clear in the way that consumers view produce and what part is has in their shopping basket. As disposable income has increased in the top third of the income range it has clearly benefited our industry with consumer in that segment spending double the amount that the lower 2/3rds spend on fresh produce.
  • What’s driving those gains is a new emphasis in 3 main areas: convenience, quality and health.
    Convenience shopping has been primarily driven by the increase in two income households. The vast majority of women will work for at least some part of their adulthood, prior to having children and after they are grown and more and more frequently while children are in the households. 2/3rds of women now with children under 18 work outside the home at least part time. And that’s of the households that DO have children, which has hovered right around 50% for the past 20 years.

    Which leads to the second trend of quality. Households with higher disposable income are willing to pay more for quality. As cooking moves from a nightly necessity to feed the family to a hobby or occasional activity, what goes in the pot commands a higher priority.
    And finally health is seen as the third major trend as consumers are aware much more of what they eat and how it impacts the way they fell and their ability to do the things they want to do.
    Now, let’s drill this down further.
  • Healthy: organic, fitness, - while there is a solid green consumer who support products that “better for the earth”, the vast majority of shoppers now looking for healthy foods are thinking a little closer to home as in “ better for me”
    Convenience means not only pre-packed – but also how to quickly prepare
    I spoke with Neal Jamie and a few others of you last night about this topic. The opportunity exists to create a premium packaging that both addresses real packaging issues while also raising the price point
    And finally multi-cultural. These, on it’s service seems to be easy to understand - and I’ll give you an example from the Hispanic market

    No obviously not all consumers are driven by all of these factors. So, I’d like to go back and discss in more detail one that we touched upon earlier and tell you why they are important.
  • Healthy: organic, fitness, - while there is a solid green consumer who support products that “better for the earth”, the vast majority of shoppers now looking for healthy foods are thinking a little closer to home as in “ better for me”
    Convenience means not only pre-packed – but also how to quickly prepare
    I spoke with Neal Jamie and a few others of you last night about this topic. The opportunity exists to create a premium packaging that both addresses real packaging issues while also raising the price point
    And finally multi-cultural. These, on it’s service seems to be easy to understand - and I’ll give you an example from the Hispanic market

    No obviously not all consumers are driven by all of these factors. So, I’d like to go back and discss in more detail one that we touched upon earlier and tell you why they are important.
  • Why is this category important? Because of their role as influencers. This group, has more disposable income than any other segment of the market. As Baby Boomers carry that generational trait of adventure seeking and so are willing to experiment with everything from lifestyles to food choices. They are still the largest segment of the population as a group.

    A cornerstone of marketing is called “aspirational marketing” for those of you not specifically in marketing, this is the term used to explain why ads which depict people just a little bit, richer, better educated and better looking than the target market are so effective. We all aspire to be like those further up the ladder and because food is a low cost luxury …as opposed to say a Mercedes, it’s an easy thing to purchase to show your taste for the finer things in life.

    .
  • When I talk about influencers, I mean those groups of consumers who drive trends. In this early part of the 20th century, the main influencers are in one of three groups: the Fresh enthusiasts interested in quality and luxury. The Foodies, interested in quality as well as exotic and interesting ingredients and the green consumers interested in organic and healthy foods. While these groups of people can be large, there are a select few in each segment who influence the rest of the group, as well as the balance of consumers. These “super consumers” are the perfect brand ambassadors Why? How many of you are familiar with Malcolm Gladwell’s theory of “connectors”. This has to do with the Small World experiments that were conducted where a letter was given to a random person in Kansas or Nebraska and they were asked to have it delivered to a person in Boston by passing it to a friend who might know a friend who might know a friend who knew that person…which led to our popular characterization of this phenomenon as “6 degrees of separation.

    What’s particularly interesting in this experiment, from a marketing perspective is that the vast majority of letters that made it to the target in Boston, were delivered by only 2-3 people…by “super connectors’ And we all know one or two…that person who you know…who knows EVERYONE. When one of these people have a particular skill or area of interest then he or she becomes the perfect brand influencers – magnified online.

    Which is where we are going now.

    Before I move onto technology trends…
  • I’m going to show you some technology trends today which are going to change dramatically by January as we open up presents under the tree in a few weeks, but the result of the rapid growth in personal technology is the same…
  • This is a big change from even just a few years ago
  • What this means is a great challenge and a great opportunity. A challenge because rather than a brand being able to develop a message about a product and broadcast it out to consumers through ads or packaging or point of sale…it’s become more like a game of telephone with the brand message being interpreted by influencers and given there own twist or even creating new messages about the product that the brand has no control of.

    And the challenge is growing as the internet becomes less and less a work tool accessed at the office and more an anytime tool
  • The internet is no longer about computer
    They are on tablets and cell phones
  • Social – where brands have the least control of the message is rapidly becoming a mobile medium
    Here are a few statistics I pulled this last month
  • This is changing not only WHERE consumers access the internet- from home, from airplanes, from kid’s soccer games, but also WHEN. The days of 9-5 marketing 5 days a week are over as consumers communicate with each other, even if they can’t communicate with the brand 24/7/365
  • Read slide
  • And as technology evolves digital will play an even bigger role. The next big trend in wearable devices, connected TVs and even driverless cars will impact how and when we connect and with whom. There is not clear vision of HOW this will impact consumer communication – but we know it will.
    For our industry in particular, the second big trend in digital that will impact not so much how consumers learn about our products but more how they receive them will be what I like to call Netgrocer 2.0 – the return of the widesale internet linked grocery delivery service - this time with a clear focus on profiatbility.
  • While these trends, digital and consumer sound like they create great challenges or even headaches…there is also great opportunity, the opportunity for branding. While Dole and Del Monte have been doing it for years and a few brands have been able to carve out spots in the market recently, to a large extent we, in the fresh produce market have struggled with branding our products. Faster, better communication with and between consumers and the Big data to be able to identify trends and influencers also brings opportunity.
  • We can better communicate product differences, product benefits and even distribution challenges to consumers and turn that into effective branding.
    It starts with a strategic digital program – since the purpose of this conference to give you tools that you can use in your organizations and in your positions, which are not all in marketing, I know, I’m just going to briefly touch on what makes a good digital marketing program. It starts with a strategic focus and uses a few tools well
  • http://mashable.com/2011/04/22/csr-company-stages/
    Slow down

    Talk about challenges
  • discuss slide

  • http://blog.zuberance.com/blog/brand-advocates-are-customer-acquisition-machines-each-will-bring-you-3-new-customers/

    Curation AND Content Creation

    The importance of brand advocates
    MozBar
    Followerwonk
    Buzzfeed

    Other platforms

    http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/09/16/3-social-media-tools-to-identify-influential-bloggers/
  • Now that you see the way digital can be used from a marketing standpoint, I’d like to move on now and discuss how the rapid change in the digital landscape impacts the entire organization and how it moves consumer commumnication beyond the marketing department
  • Listener – reading, watching, listening to pick up information – what is sometimes called “directed listening” with a plan, looking for trends and writing them down
    Content Creator – one whose job is to create interesting content – videos, photos, posts, articles that carry the company’s message- we’ve all been doing this long before digital
    Conversationalist – one whose job is specifically communicate with a group of stakeholders- consumers, potential employees, suppliers , customers – again something we’ve been doing all along
    Translator – the job of communicating to other stakeholders what is happening between the brand and the consumer onlie
  • Now that you see the way digital can be used from a marketing standpoint, I’d like to move on now and discuss how the rapid change in the digital landscape impacts the entire organization and how it moves consumer commumnication beyond the marketing department
  • Digital and in particular social communication now impacts a wide variety of departments within the organization and you may find yourself, whatever your role in the organization facing some of the same issues I’ve discussed that we see in marketing – less control of the message as stakeholders pass information through their own web of connections bypassing the company and often the company line- back to that game of telephone.
    I think discussing the different roles we play in the digital Landscape can help clarify what’s going on
  • Let me give you some examples of what this looks like from a digital perspective.
  • And these are some of the skills that
  • The Produce Industry's Evolving Consumer

    1. 1. HIGH PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE THE EVOLVING DOOR OF CONSUMERISM
    2. 2. Changes in where and how consumers communicate has opened doors for extraordinary branding opportunities in fresh produce!
    3. 3. Agenda • Consumer Trends • Technology Trends • Communicating with Consumers • Digital Across the Organization
    4. 4. Consumer Trends
    5. 5. Consumer Bifurcation 35% of HHLDs earn over $70,000 65% of HHLDs earn under $70,000 50% of Produce Sales 50% of Produce Sales
    6. 6. Global Consumer Trends Convenience Quality Health New Usage
    7. 7. Global Consumer Segments
    8. 8. What if capitalizing on some of these Trends could change consumer focus? Consumers SAY fresh produce is too expensive Are the real issues related to convenience and usage?
    9. 9. Drivers and Influencers Fresh Enthusiasts - 55+ Affluent couples, Health minded, Food- focused, premium shopper Foodies -Millennials, Food- focused, Favor premium, adventurous eating Deep Green - 20% of the population – sustainability, social justice, favor organic, Multi-cultural – 40% of Millennials, blending heritage with modern
    10. 10. Drivers and Influencers Four main segments influence everyone else
    11. 11. Technology Trends
    12. 12. The consumer’s first contact to your product is no longer likely to be at Point of Sale
    13. 13. The Internet is already The Leading Influence in consumer purchasing choice…Trumping all other sources, including advice from friends and family
    14. 14. Half of all Global Consumers are Online Mostly NOT on PC’s
    15. 15. “…Sixty percent of our 200 million active users log in via a mobile device…” 48 percent of users on a given day are ONLY accessing it from mobile 18% of phone owners use Instagram 35% of Pinterest users are mobile
    16. 16. Peak Times Phone 6:00 AM - Midnight Desktop 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM Tablet 6:00 PM - Midnight
    17. 17. What Does it Mean? Screen ubiquity, fragmentation and asynchronous communication mean marketers need to place digital at the forefront of their marketing efforts
    18. 18. Emerging Trends • Wearable Devices and Connected TV’s will change the way consumers access information • Mobile Wallets and Grocery e-Commerce will change the way consumers purchase product (Channel Blurring)
    19. 19. Converging Trends = Branding Opportunity
    20. 20. Communicating with Consumers
    21. 21. •Yea We’re On Facebook! • Is Not a Social Media Strategy!
    22. 22. Key Branding Tools Website Top Social Sites Brand Advocates Secondary Social sites
    23. 23. Great Websites Work For Consumers • The Devil’s in the Details! • Product usage ideas & tips consumers actually search for • Formatted for how consumers think • Heavily Cross-Linked • Easy to View on Mobile • Trackable
    24. 24. What makes Great Content On Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest? Consumers Influencers Watching the game on Monday? Try this corn and hummus dip (10 minutes to make) via @TheMerrythought http://bit.ly/1d6j3BT What’s your favorite hummus dip? Boring Engaging
    25. 25. Who Are Brand Advocates?
    26. 26. The Importance of Brand Advocates Each Brand Advocate brings you 3 new customers…but
    27. 27. Digital Across the Organization
    28. 28. Digital Roles Listener Content Creator Conversationalist Translator
    29. 29. How Do we Integrate Digital Consumer Communication across the Organization? • Top down strategy • Mid-level management Tactical execution • Less silo-ing of responsibility • Integration across departments
    30. 30. Digital Stakeholder Touchpoints
    31. 31. Tools and Stakeholders Listening: Company social media sites, consumer newsletter, digital properties Content Creation: Linkedin, Company Blog, corporate website Conversationalist: Linkedin, Personal accounts, department tools Translator: Newsletters, email, face to face
    32. 32. Skills • Content writing and editing skills • HTML/CSS • Analytics & Reporting • Information Architecture • Social Media • Photo/Video Editing
    33. 33. Exercise • What are your digital roles? • What skills do you need to perform it? Listener Conversation alist Content Creator Translator Content writing and editing Social media HTML/CSS Information Architecture Analytics & Reporting Photo/Video editing
    34. 34. Please answer the following questions on the page provided at the end of the session outline in your program handbook: take What are the implications for me? What are the implications for my organization?
    35. 35. Thank You! Maryanne Conlin Maryanne@redropesdigital.com @maryanneconlin

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