As the times change, the world has seen a non-stop evolution of food trends; among the most recent ones we can pinpoint the trend involving organic food, non-GMO products, gluten-free or vegan products. Independently of whichever benefits can be attributed to each of those trends, one thing has been made clear, specifically when analyzing the gluten-free trend, it seems to me that the public doesn’t buy products that fit into any of the trends because of the health benefits and properties they offer, but for the benefits the media makes them think those products offer. In other words, food trends are nothing more than a good advertising campaign.
Now, don’t get me wrong, by saying this I don’t mean to say good things can never come out of those trends, and in many cases, there are fantastic side effects of promoting these trends. One of the trends that has been gaining terrain lately, although it is not a new concept for the market, is the increase of sales for locally produced food.
Among the benefits of buying locally produced food are the support of the local economy, fresher products as well as higher quality ones. On the other side, that also means that products cannot be found year-round, and those tend to have increased prices that can be variable. Nevertheless, as all the other food trends mentioned above, the only thing needed to skyrocket the concept of locally produced goods is the right advertising.
Know your target
Not everyone follows food trends just as not everyone wears the latest fashion looks. That is OK! That also means that you must know who you are selling to. According to the authors Sobal, Bisogni, Devine, and Jastran, writers of The psychology of food choice, people construct food choices that can be attributed to influences and social factors. That means that by finding a common ground between all of the possible buyers, you can create a community of people that influence each other; take nationalism as an example. By making people feel proud of their city, region or country, the influence of getting products that would bust that region’s economy creates a strong influence and a social cause, not to mention a good reputation.
Don’t be afraid to flaunt what you have!
Let’s be honest here; nothing is more disappointing, at least for me, than seeing a vibrant, colorful, fresh product in an add to later buy it in the grocery store just to find out that the product is flavorless, old and in some cases, even soggy. The greatest part about advertising locally produced goods is that they are so fresh, that they actually look like the add, and even better, they taste the way they are supposed to taste. Let the world know that! Also, the increase of prices reflects the effort that was put into the process, which is a sign of quality.
People enjoy feeling like they are contributing to a bigger cause
Being altruistic without actually having to put in the effort is what most people do on a daily basis. But, how can they do that? Simple. By purchasing locally grown or locally produced goods, they are not only helping the local economy, but also directly improving the lives of family farmers. For this to be true, it needs to be communicated to the customers on a regular basis. In addition to the economic part, locally grown goods have less impact on the environment, which is a matter that has been proven to increase the acceptance of a price premium. According to a research conducted by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, 58% of their test subjects were willing to pay more for a product that emits less greenhouse gases.
By having the right information about the product, knowing the target and having a strategy to deliver the information to the target market, selling locally produced goods will be a piece of cake with positive impact for the economy and the environment. In my opinion, the world is ready for a new food trend, and I believe locally produced goods could not only become that new trend but eventually morph into a lifestyle in which freshness and origin matter. I guess we will have to wait and see.