More restaurant chains including White Castle, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Denny's and Arby's are raising brand awareness on social media by creating distinctive personas. Smaller players can level the field by striking the right tongue-in-cheek tone without crossing a line, marketing experts said.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has approved 10 baking-related patents, among them one for a double-crusted pizza method granted to Nestec. Other recent patents include a rippled tortilla shape assigned to General Mills and a new process for making shortbread cookies granted to Barilla Group.
CPG companies that stand out from the competition are known to use three key strategies to become top performers, according to research from The Boston Consulting Group and IRI. These firms balance organic and inorganic growth, target consumers with precision and use data to differentiate offerings so they can meet shopper preferences.
To attract shoppers from Generation Z, who make up $40 billion in buying power, retailers should "create an engaging experience connecting physical and digital realms -- namely, through the smartphones these consumers already carry with them," says Thinfilm CEO Davor Sutija. Generation Z is now larger than either baby boomers or millennials, making up 25% of the US population.
Consumers are seeking healthier options for their on-the-go eating occasions, according to a recent survey by the Natural Marketing Institute, offering an opportunity for food manufacturers to help stem obesity. "[People were] unlikely to give up on soda or snacks, but they would like to see them in smaller portions -- that's a huge opportunity [for the food industry]; people are waiting for help," said Hank Cardello, director of the Food Policy Center at the Hudson Institute.
Nestle's latest mobile ad campaign for its Pure Life water brand used 3D imaging to drive brand awareness. The campaign was developed with the help of Maxus and AdSpruce, and it allows a 3D projection of the brand's new bottle to appear on phones across platforms and regardless of bandwidth.
Delivery is a must-have for more restaurants, but the rising costs of using third-party delivery systems is spawning a new generation of startups that aim to help eateries do delivery in-house. EpiFruit links eateries with couriers, and ShiftPixy is testing a plan to create on-demand delivery drivers.
The growing popularity of online ordering and delivery has spurred Amazon to become an emerging player in the restaurant sector. Amazon Pay Places teams with point-of-sale provider Clover, and Amazon Restaurants partners with online ordering service Olo to deliver food using Amazon's Prime Now services.
Restaurant delivery service Deliveroo will launch a new service in several European markets next month. The Marketplace+ service will offer new delivery options to restaurants that have their own in-house delivery services.
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