Millennials Are Today’s Food & Wine Tastemakers

November 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

3040348-slide-s-4-meet-the-brand-that-got-millennials-hooked-on-sparkling-wineMillennial foodies are the new “tastemakers”. What Millennials want in food today is what the rest of the world will soon be asking for. This savvy generation loves lots of informal celebrations, intense flavor profiles, ethnic cuisines, more natural foods and lots of snacks. Champagnes like Chandon are courting Millennials as an irreverent celebration alternative to their parents’ brands and are designing bottles to fit their occasions.

Restaurants are working hard to cater to millennials as their incomes and spending habits grow.   Here are some important facts to understand.

  1.  They eat out more often.  53% of the group goes out to eat once a week, compared with 43% for the general population. They eat out more often in all categories – quick serve, casual dining and fast casual.  While they all eat fast food, millennials don’t want to admit to eating it.  They are the least likely to recommend fast food to others.  Fast casual is their favorite.  Millennials compose 51% of fast casual customers.
  2. They want healthy food which means fresh, less processed and with fewer artificial ingredients.
  3. They want food that comes from socially responsible companies.  Types of companies that they like include those who have principles around fair trade, sustainability and fair wages.   Companies that exhibit these qualities include Starbucks and Chipolte.
  4. They like to support local restaurants.  Again this means higher quality food, social ethics, ethnic foods and flavor profiles.
  5. They want convenience which translates to easy online ordering, stellar apps and rewards programs. Starbucks has scored big with their new app revamp for pick-up orders.
  6. Sriracha is on everything.  It is stocked in 9% of American households and in 16% of those under 35.
  7. They celebrate a lot.  According to CEB Iconoculture, Millennials are celebrating more than just the traditional holidays. Super Bowl Parties, May the 4th Be With You celebrations (for Star Wars fans), and single girls’ gatherings for Valentine’s Day are just a few ways Millennials are celebrating outside of traditional holidays.
  8. The line between snacks and meals is blurring. According to research by Barkley and BCG, Millennials tend to snack far more than older generations. It is very common for Millennials to regularly have snacks in the mid-morning, mid-afternoon and late at night.

On the alcohol side of things, Chandon reports that 27 percent of adult millennials now choose beer as their favorite alcoholic drink and a lot of that beer is craft beer.   But beer consumption is down from 33 percent in 2012, leaving room for other products including vodkas, wines and sparkling wines.  Millennials like craft brands and made-for-me brands.  Chandon has targeted Millennials with its “celebrate everyday” strategy, moving sparkling wines from only end of year special occasions to everyday occasions.  Since Chandon is technically not Champagne since it is from Napa Valley, the wine has become Americanized.  Chandon has been able to reimagine how sparkling wine can be consumed—and by whom.  Chandon typically sells for a lower price point as well.

But price alone is not enough to lure young adults.  They seek an experience.  Chandon has given the classic champagne bottle a trendy makeover and creates seasonal designs for its bottles.  Last year Chandon put out three limited-edition bottles that are scrawled with the phrases “The Party Starts Here,” “Bring on the Fun,” and “I am the After Party.”   Ideally, consumers can pick out the bottle that matches their personality.  Their marketing also matches this new look with a heavy dependence on social media using image heavy social platforms like Instagram.

“Any marketer will tell you that it is very difficult to change consumer behavior,” Cristian Yanez, VP of Estate and Wines at Moet Hennessy USA, Chandon’s parent company says. “But with sparkling wine, we’ve found that a simple approach works best. I know it sounds a bit basic, but just giving people another excuse to drink a bottle of sparkling wine is sometimes all we need to do.”



Marketing to Women: Is the Lunch Hour Dead?

May 13, 2014 § 1 Comment

lunch timeAs I was munching on my McDonald’s salad at my desk today, I started wondering about the fate of lunch in America.  I certainly don’t seem to break for lunch as often as I used to.  In fact, the phrase lunch hour is even misleading.  In a recent study , 48% of employees say that the typical lunch break is 30 minutes or less.  And in another study by Staples, 19% of employees say they don’t stop for lunch at all.  In 2010, Monster found that more than 20 percent of workers say they always eat lunch at their desks.

The lunch “break” has turned into a time for errands, online shopping, more work and maybe a quick bite.  Here are some of the reasons behind these trends.

•  The recession spawned a cutback in personal and business spending.  And currently the IRS only allows 50% of entertainment expenses.  With a focus on productivity, some employees feel pressure to work more and don’t feel they have time for lunch.

•  Working women have a lot of tasks to accomplish.  Any given day may include errands, online shopping, haircuts and a quick bite.  Working moms are 13% more likely to have spent $2500+ on internet purchases, 10% more likely to do their banking online and they own almost every mobile device technology that allows them to shop.

•  Lunch hour shopping trends show 84% of moms shop 15 minutes or more a day at work.  And most of that shopping happens between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Some 43% of female workers say they did their holiday shopping online while at work, compared to only 35% of male workers.  Not surprisingly,  21% of back to school shopping happens online.  Woman shoppers use the time as a welcome break from their office routine and would rather shop online than go to a mall.

Some categories have benefitted from this trend.  Certainly online shopping of all kinds has prospered.  Retailers see rising traffic during the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. period and some are creating two-hour “stop, drop and shop” promotions during that lunch window.  Grocery stores have embraced the trend with more “grab and go” lunch foods.  According to market researcher NPD Group, grocers have seen their lunchtime purchases of prepared food like sandwiches and salads jump by 28% since 2008.  And fast casual restaurants like Panera and Chipotle provide high quality food options with a lower time commitment.  There is also a trend to wanting snacks at all times to tide workers over to dinner time.

In the world of advertising and marketing, the three martini lunches were legend.  Gerald Ford said, “The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?”  While some still remember those long lost “Mad Men” three martini lunches fondly, in retrospect, they seem indulgent and luxurious.  Time might have been the true luxury. Maybe those lunches were not very productive, but they did provide opportunity for marketers and clients to know each other better.  Maybe we have traded the martini for the macchiato, but that coffee with a client might be a great time to really talk, listen to each other and share ideas freely.  Cheers!





Marketing to Women: Top Ten 2013 Lipstick Economy Posts

December 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

A little retrospective on what you thought was most interesting in The Lipstick Economy this year. These are the top posts on marketing to women from this year.  A confusing year for women – Sheryl Sandberg told us to “lean in”,  Miley showed us how to twerk and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer extended paid leave for parents and banned telecommuting.  

iStock_000012573383XSmallMarketing Travel to Women: Eight New Trends You Need to Know.  According to the Travel Industry Association, there is an estimated 32 million single American women who have traveled at least once in the past year, and some three in ten travel five or more times a year.  The average adventure traveler is not a male but a 47-year-old female and they have different expectations from travel than men.

Marketing to Women: Growth of Women in Marketing.  Almost a third of all Americans are employed in marketing-related positions.  That’s a staggering number if you think about it.  And it is a path for women to grow up the corporate ladder.   A recent study by a recruiting firm found that more top executives have come out of marketing than of any other area.

Marketing to Women: Why Marketers Don’t Understand Women.  For the first time in history, women now outnumber men in the workforce. Women are more educated, accounting for approximately 58% of students in two- and four-year colleges.   We account for 85% of all consumer purchases.   Purchases include homes, healthcare, cars, travel and computers.  And 96% list “being independent” as their single most important life goal.  But research says 91% of women don’t think marketers understand them.

M_BeyonceSuperBowl_101612Marketing to Women: Women Watching Super Bowl Too!  More women are watching the Super Bowl than the Academy Awards! In 2012, 54 percent of the roughly 111 million viewers who tuned in to watch the Superbowl on Fox were men, compared to 46 percent women.

Marketing to Women: Your Elevator Speech in 15 Seconds.  Sometimes the most important things are not addressed in business.  This handy guide to creating your elevator speech in 15 seconds is vital.  At New Year’s when you are at that party and someone asked you what you do, what will you say?

Marketing to Women: Six Things to Know About #Hashtags.  Hashtags are everywhere.  Some 24% of tweets contain hashtags. And 71% of people on social media use hashtags.  Even Facebook instituted the lowly pound mark that has become a strong marketing tool.  Do you know when to hashtag and not to hashtag?

Marketing to Women: One-third of All Women Are Single “Indies”.  It’s a new day for women and there is even a new term for the group that are over 27, not married, not living with a partner, and without children.  They are called the Indies.  This group has been growing and currently include some 31 million women, about a third of all adult women.  They now surpass the number of married moms!

Marketing to Women: Emotional Connection Important for Healthcare.  A recent study shows that 85% of consumers say it is important or very important to them to do business with a company for which they have strong emotions, per survey results from rbb Public Relations.  And the industry for which it is most important is healthcare.

Marketing to Women: Power to the PANKs.  PANKs, Professional Aunts No Kids.  They are actively involved in the lives of children around them.  In fact, one in five women is a PANK, or approximately 23 million Americans.  PANKs are roughly half of all the women who are not a mother or grandmother.  This group is actually growing as women are choosing to stay single or marry later.  PANKs spend $9 billion on toys and gifts for children annually.

Marketing to Women: Top 10 Culinary Trends for Restaurants.  The top 2013 trends included healthy kid’s food, iced tea, gluten-free, Greek yogurt and more.

Marketing to Women: Top 10 Culinary Trends for Restaurants

July 18, 2013 § 2 Comments

At this year’s National Restaurant Association, some strong new trends were seen across the trade show floor.  Want to see what your local restaurants will be offering soon?  Here’s the list on NRA trends and also a What’s Hot list from Chef’s across the country.  What you see here is also being replicated in our grocery stores.

Whats_Hot_Top101.  Healthy Kid’s Food.  What?  No fried chicken tenders?  Looks like schools will be offering baked snack chips made with whole grains, whole wheat crackers and granola clusters.

2. Tropical flavors. Fruit basket turnover:  Passion fruit, guava and especially mango were prominently on display, particularly flavoring iced teas and desserts. Coconut was on many desserts, too, possibly benefiting from the popularity of coconut water.

3. Water.  Yes, that’s right.  Water is hot (or cold)!  It’s zero-calorie “enhanced waters,” fortified with vitamins, water filtration systems, seltzer with splashes of fruit juice, aloe water and just plain bottled water.

4.  Iced Tea.  Okay, here in the South, it’s always been a trend but today it’s about flavors like “Pacific Raspberry” and “Georgia Peach.”

5. Greek yogurt 2.0.  Greek yogurt in everything – Greek yogurt cheesecake, spinach-artichoke dip, mac and cheese, and virtually anything that would otherwise contain mayonnaise or sour cream.

6. Gluten free.  Even products that are naturally gluten-free are promoting their freedom!

7. High-tech convenience.  Think slow local done fast.  One company had a miniature chocolate factory that allowed restaurants to roast, grind and conch their chocolate in-house.

8. Salted caramel.  Enough said.  Salted caramel pie for everyone!

9. Peruvian.  The country of Peru exhibited its wares at the National Restaurant Show for the first time this year, with everything in place to take the world by storm.  Our family actually visits Peruvian restaurants in LA where it has been popular for quite some time.  Can’t beat an Inca Soda!

10. Superfoods.  Show attendees were interested in the healing qualities of cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne pepper; teas were flavored with blueberry, pomegranate and açaí, and fish enjoyed it’s Omega 3 oil qualities.

Marketing to Women: 7 Tips for Selling Gift Cards Right Now!

November 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

Gift cards are set to reach an all-time high in sales this year.  National Retail Federation’s 2012 holiday consumer spending survey  shows that 81.1 percent of shoppers will purchase at least one gift card and will spend an average of $156.86 on gift cards, the highest amount in the survey’s 10-year history.  Total spending on gift cards will reach $28.79 billion.  We have put together seven tips on marketing gift cards to women right now!

How do you get the most from your gift card business?

1.  Sell an experience.  Maybe you could package a special experience for the shopper – a set of cooking lessons, a day at the spa, a day fly-fishing or a set of special bed linens.  It makes the gift card more personal for the giver and the recipient.  The recipient gets to pick the time or the sizes.

2.  Sell a popular package or specific amount that covers a popular item.  Don’t assume the shopper knows your store.  The shopper may have budgets for spending and may not know what an appropriate amount buys in your store.  A man may need help to know what to spend in a cosmetics or lingerie store.  Almost anyone needs help knowing what to buy a teenager.  And nothing is worse than getting a gift card to an expensive restaurant that doesn’t even cover the cost of the appetizer.

3.  Put together suggested gift lists.  This is another way to let customers know what a appropriate gift card amount might be.  A list of items for $25, $50 and $100 should suggest the right amount for the buyer.

4.  Make sure your website is gift card friendly.  Some 77% of retailers sold gift cards online last year. We know that consumers buy gift cards for convenience so the ability to buy gift cards on your website is extremely important.  Research indicates that many times gift card purchases come from outside the state where you are located.  Make the gift cards prominent on the website and make sure that buying a gift card is extremely easy with as few clicks as possible.  Allow people to share their experience online as well.  Make sure gift cards can be purchased on those smartphones as well.

5.  Make Gift Cards a Main Message.  Restaurants and department stores have long known the value of gift cards but other industries have lagged.  It’s not too late.  Get messages up in your store and at your check-out areas promoting gift cards.  Think about corporate sales and incentives.  Use social media to promote gift cards and the ease and convenience of them.  Put a voicemail message on your phones to promote gift cards.

6.  Send well-timed emails for more online sales.   Time your emails to land in inboxes on appropriate days like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.  This year Hanukkah begins December 8 and ends December 16.  Kwanzaa begins December 26 and ends January 1.  First class domestic mail deadline this year is December 20 and parcel post is December 14.  Research has shown that 50 percent of instant gift card sales take place within 48 hours of Christmas, with December 24 being the top day to purchase a gift card online.

7.  Treat the buyer as well.  Promote a creative offer that rewards the buyer as well.  “Buy $100 in gift cards and get a $20 gift card for yourself.”  Not only do gift cards help your after Christmas sales, but a bonus may cause the buyer to create another occasion for using your business.  Offer specials for people in your neighborhood who may not get out to shop often.  Think about other business owners, first responders and retail workers.


Marketing to Women: How to Avoid Daily Deal Disaster

November 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

Restaurant Hospitality provided a great checklist to use when running a daily deal (Groupon, Living Social, and the 100 others available in your community).  There have been some businesses overwhelmed with daily deals gone bad.  The two categories that seem to benefit the most from daily deals are restaurants and beauty treatments/products.

Best Advice:  Set an objective for what you want the daily deal to accomplish.  Do you want incremental business during a down time?  Do you want to encourage trial of a new product or a larger purchase?  Do you want to encourage frequency? Do you want to appeal to a new target audience. Match your offer to your objective. 

Some tips for Daily Deal marketing –

1.  Payment.  Find out from the daily deal provider when you will receive payment.  The big players usually take at least 20 days to deliver the first payment.  Smaller providers might provide better terms.

2.  Targeting.  Who or what are you targeting?  Dayparts such as lunch business or dinner business?  Locals versus tourists?  New products or core inventory?  Most daily deals should be to enhance your business and encourage additional sales.  Do you have a plan in place to convert users into an additional visit or purchase?

3.  Promotion.  Daily deal providers can do additional promotion for their offers like television and print advertising. See if your provider will provide extra promotion.   And you might want to make sure you broadcast your offers on social media. Daily deals and social media like each other.  A recent study by Edison and Arbitron found that daily deal users are more likely to use social networks. The study reports the average daily deal user had about 255 friends on Facebook.

4.  Pricing.  I really like the example given for restaurants.  Look at your average check or  transaction. If your objective is to stimulate sales during a down period and the average check is $40, you might run a $15 offer for $30 worth of food and drink.  If you are a provider of beauty products, you might offer a new high margin service/product with a low product cost.

5.  Service.  The last tip is making sure all of your employees are knowledgeable about the offer and provide the customer with personalized service and high quality.  Nothing turns off a customer more than a server or sales associate that is indifferent,  knows nothing about the offer and seems put off by the redemption offer.

6.  Engage New Users.  Make sure you track your new business, making sure you get their emails so you can continue to communicate your offers to them.

Daily deals may be still by growing but it is among the big players.  According to BIA/Kelsey, United States spending on daily deals, instant deals, and flash sales is expected to hit $2 billion in 2012 and continue to grow to more than $4.2 billion in 2015.  However, one-third of all daily deal sites have disappeared.  Research by Foresee, conducted in November and December 2011, shows that 60% of visitors of the top 40 websites were enrolled in at least one daily deal site. That’s a decrease from the previous spring, when the figure was 65%. And the percentage of subscribers who had purchased a daily deal over the last 90 days was shrinking, from 67% in the spring of 2011, to 63% in the early winter of 2011.

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Marketing to Women on Smartphones: That’s 50.9% of us!

May 10, 2012 § 3 Comments

Smartphones have crossed the tipping point.  According to Nielsen, a majority (50.4%) of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8 percent in December 2011.  And of course women over index the national stat – 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1 percent for men.

Shop till we drop our phoneSo, is it any surprise that we are using those oh-so-smart mobile devices for shopping?  Of course not. Seventy-nine percent of us are using our smartphones for shopping.

Smartphones are really the mobile shoppers dream for  the following:  “Locating a store” (73% vs. 42% for tablets ), “using a shopping list while shopping” (42% vs. 16% for tablets) or “redeeming a mobile coupon” (36% vs. 11% for tablet owners).   However, tablet owners are much more likely to use their device for online shopping: 42 percent of tablet owners have “used their device to purchase an item,” compared to just 29 percent of smartphone owners.

For marketers, it is important to understand how our target is using a mobile device so we can tailor messages and design appropriate engagement opportunities.

Pay As You Go  Currently we are buying online, but Nielsen points out that soon we will become comfortable with using our smartphones to make payments for items.  I can’t wait. ” Just one less thing to worry about,” says Forrest Gump.

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