Snack Time

Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 4.21.41 PMCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Hello and Happy New Year to you!  You know me, right?  Of course you do. I love a good infographic.  I love talking about snacks.  And today’s post is two-two of these loves in one!  (I’m channeling Reese’s PB Cup ads long gone.) I spotted this snacking-goodness from the research team of The Hartman Group.  What I found particularly interesting and nuggety:

All day, all night (almost, gotta sleep some time) — People snack around the clock.  Now, this isn’t new news and snack food and fast food companies know this.  But the stats are interesting.  Particularly as it justifies my own late afternoon cravings!

At home, not on the go — Another interesting finding was that consumers are snacking mostly in the comforts of their own homes.  And so few at work, so few on the go.  Where are all these snackers?!

Healthy is a want, and Mindless and indulgent are the realities — Such a hodge podge of reasons to snack, none of which include “because I was hungry.”  And no wonder brands are trying to show the healthier options as consumers are drawn to them — whether or not they choose them is another story, clearly with chips and soda winning out.

What about you?  How do your own habits compare?  Again, thanks to The Hartman Group for nuggety brain snacks.  TASTY TREND: Here and Now; Food and Flavor Fun

What’s Next

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.50.58 PMCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  “It’s the most, wonder-ful time, of the year…”  I love when predictions and trends you can expect to see are shared at the close of the year.  They’re fun and although they seem forward-thinking, really, they’re a reflection of how people are behaving, what they’re buying, the overall cultural mood, if you will.  That said, here are a few nibbly bites from different sources, giving POVs on what to expect in 2013.  Let’s first start with color…

See Green — Last week Pantone announced their selection for the 2013 color of the year.  As you may know, once you hear this you’ll certainly expect to see this color in the months ahead showing up in everything from fashion, to cars, to beauty, to home decor.  Their choice: Pantone color #17-5641: aka Emerald Green.  The color selection feels very optimistic as it conveys prosperity, growth, beauty, and renewal.  It’s also meant to deliver healing and unity, along with balance and harmony.  Let’s hope this color brings what it promises, right?!  OK, onto flavors (you know how much I love food and flavor trends)…

On Dukkah! On Cajeta! On Katsu (and Blitzen)! — So silly, no those are not new reindeer names tee hee!  Rather, spice maker McCormick just released their 2013 Flavor Forecast.  Among the trends in flavors expect to see/taste…Dukkah — it’s a Middle Eastern spice blend made with toasted nuts, cumin, coriander and sesame seeds, that is said to be “rich and savory.”  Also look for…Cajeta, a milk caramel from Mexico.  As well as…Katsu — a thick, tangy Japanese sauce.  OK then, I’ll give those a try eventually.  And finally, when two things collide that I love…

When Trends Meet Infographics — If you don’t already subscribe to, you should.  They deliver a monthly capture of a current global trend, and then roll them all up into one nice source.  Recently, they released their what-to-expect-for-2013 report.  But they also sum it up in an infographic. Nice!  Give it a read here:  And be sure to read the details in the report itself. Again, good to have a bigger, broader global view.

As I collect more, I’ll definitely share — even if it’s just links, ‘k?  TASTY TRENDS:  In the Mood; Here and Now; Food and Flavorful Fun

Thanksgiving Nuggets

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  With Thanksgiving this week, I thought I’d serve up a nice scoop of crunchy, holiday-related nuggets — interesting tid bits about consumer behavior specifically around turkey day.  That said, pull up your brainpower plate and make room for these stats and facts.  Hey, did you know that…

4,500 calories — According to the Calorie Control Council, this is the total average number of calories Americans consume on Thanksgiving Day.  That’s a per person number.  Just you.  You eat all that.  One day.  Wow.  Better wear loose pants.

$49.48 — Is the average cost of a 10-serving Thanksgiving dinner, according to a study by the American Farm Bureau Federation.  I say that those are some, savvy shoppers!  The study also notes that the cost of that 10-person dinner this year has barely changed from 2011.  But it is significantly higher than in 2009, when it was $42.91 and $43.47 in 2010.  To put the meal into context, my skeptical food shopper friends, who, like me said…aw c’mon that’s not that much, here is what they included: a 16-pound turkey, 12 rolls, 1-pound relish tray of carrots and celery, one-half pint of whipping cream, 14 ounces of cubed stuffing, 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, 1 gallon of whole milk, 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, 1 pound of green peas, 30 ounces of pumpkin pie mix and 2 pie shells.

581 pounds purchased. 204 pounds into the garbage — According to the National Resources Defense Council, Americans will buy 581 pounds of turkey for Thanksgiving.  But unfortunately, much of that goes to waste, as they estimate that 204 pounds of it will end up being discarded, yikes!  Sandwiches, people!  Make sandwiches or freeze it, as my Mother would advise!

Pass the….side dish with bread and seasonings…wait,where am I? — We call it stuffing here in the Northeast.  But according to History Channel, it also goes by the names: dressing (Southern states) and filling (Pennsylvanians).  The History Channel says that it cannot be proven that the Pilgrims ate stuffing/dressing/filling.  But given their resources with lots of “wild game” and rice, they probably dined on some kind of bird with a side of wild rice.  And lastly…

Apple beats pumpkin — Surprisingly, according to an NPR survey in 2012, apple is the leader when is comes to pie preferences.  So please tell me…is the traditional pumpkin second?  Nope…third, actually. Strawberry is number two.  Here is great infographic aka pie chart (ha ha!) with this data:

No matter how many calories you consumer, whether you clean your plate or not, reach for the stuffing or filling, or choose cherry over strawberry pie, hope your Thanksgiving holiday is enjoyable.  Thank YOU for reading!  TASTY TREND: Fun Food & Flavor Facts

Moms, UX, Pups & Pumpkin

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  A little bitta this…a little bitta that.  Throughout my week I typically hold aside interesting tid bits for the nuggets.  This week I have a bunch to share, so hang in there as today’s post swerves from topic to topic.  Let’s start with moms and mobile….

Moms are SoMo: So huh?!  SoMo = social and mobile  According to a new study released by eMarketer, Moms are among the fastest adopting groups to access social networks on smartphones.  According to their data: 40%, and as high as 60%, of all Moms in the US will be accessing social networks through mobile devices by the end of this year.  What this means for brand-types and marketing folks is this:  cross-platform development.  If you put it on Facebook, you gotta make sure a Mom can access it on her mobile or a tablet.  I just saw a great example of this level of execution in a Facebook post for Boden USA Clothing.  They have a sweeps that calls out how to enter right on FB (in an app) or through a mobile alternative.  OK, so that’s that…onto what I posted in the image…

Social shopping share:  While browsing potential dresses for an upcoming wedding I am attending, I was on Macy’s website.  As I was poking around a piece popped-up for me, offering to share my pictures in a poll that I could post onto Facebook.  So if I wished to, I could share my picks with friends and let them vote on which dress they like best.  Now, what I like about this feature is that it organically shares a retailer’s offerings.  My inner brand person was excited by the thought of passing along great brands, interesting styles, and the net takeaway of “Macy’s is a good place to shop for what I need…”  Particularly for retailers who need to widen their circle of shoppers.  Really good user experience piece, in my opinion.  OK, next…woof.

Pup-Up: Seriously, the concept of experiential pop-up shops for brands has been around for what…ten, fifteen years easily?!  But kudos to Rachel Ray and her new line of premium dog food Nutrish to bring a little fresh twist to it.  As a brand, Nutrish experiences 50% conversion post-sampling efforts, so getting nibbles to dogs and their owners is an important strategy.  RR has taken the idea of a food truck and has dog-ized it for her sampling efforts, with an initial in-market execution in Manhattan.  What caught my marketing eye was: 1. The cleverness of “pup-up.” Cute!  Really great way of using a food truck/mobile effort. 2. The smarts of taking sampling out and about to find lots of pet owners who are also out and about walking their dogs.  And 3. The “well duh”-ness about it.  Simple. Makes sense to point of almost being a “duh” idea.  But in a good way.  Here’s the NY Times article about this effort:  And lastly, who put pumpkin in my….

Pumpkin Flavah Crave: Do feel like you’re seeing pumpkin-flavored-this and pumpkin-flavored-that a lot lately?!  Well as someone who actually likes pumpkin flavored goodies, I certainly have and there’s good reason.  NY Magazine stated this past week: “Pumpkin is the New Bacon.”  And noting that not only is this year “one of the most active years for seasonal pumpkin menuing,” but also that sales of pumpkin drinks specifically has risen 400% in the past five years.  The list of pumpkin-touched foods and drinks is extensive.  Almost shrimp-ala-Bubba-Gump-like.  But here’s a few: Pop-Tarts, Pringles (yes, the chips in a can have gone pumpkin), ale, martinis, margaritas, bagels, English Muffins, Eggo Waffles, Dairy Queen Blizzard, Jet-Puffed marshmallows, lasagna noodles, and of course…Starbucks lattes.  *Phew!*

I have other nibbles to share, but will keep this nice and nuggety.  Hey, no matter what your plans for the weekend — a little bitta this, little bitta that, hope it’s a good one, enjoy!  TASTY TREND: Here and Now, Go Mobile, Mobile Moms


CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  A few weeks ago, I met a woman through my pilates studio who sells fresh-pressed juices.  She was sampling the flavors and talking about a juice cleanse that she offers where you sign-up to drink 12 fruit and veggie juices over the course of three days.  The cost of this cleanse was over $200.  Now…sure, I had heard about juices like this and cleanses.  But over $200 worth of juice?!  Was this woman crazy?!  Is what I thought…until I looked at it from a crunchy marketing nuggets angle.  Pour yourself something with liquified kale in it and give this a read:

Big, growing business — Sales of bottled super-premium fruit and veggie juices totaled $2.25 billion last year, and are up 58% over the last eight years according to Beverage Marketing. Compare this to traditional bottled juices which have been flat in terms of sales; and carbonated drinks which, also, have remained flat in sales.  Sales at all U.S. juice bars and smoothie chains have nearly doubled since 2004, and totaled $2.04 billion as of June 30, according to Juice Gallery Multimedia.

Young, healthy, and convenience-loving — Who seems to be driving this trend is a 20-/30-something consumer who wants to eat healthier, is buying raw and organic produce, and with juice, finds all of this conveniently packaged and easy to drink on the go.  He or she is paying a premium price at up to $13 a drink.

Being taken-on by big brands — Larger companies have seen the opportunity, buying up more local juice makers and distributors.  Campbell’s (as in V-8 juice) and Starbucks are among the mass-reaching companies that have invested in premium juice sources this year.

Yes, but…marketing aside…is it healthy? — According to the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there is no compelling evidence or settled science that juicing is healthier than simply eating raw fruits and vegetables.  The article where I found all of this info did say, however, that it is plant-based, therefore, it is a better choice, in general.

Need to crunchy more like a celery stick for your brain?  Find the article here in Barron’s from this past summer:

Me, I prefer to eat my veggies and salads rather than drink them…but a good fruit juice with a little cayenne pepper can be surprisingly refreshing!  TASTY TREND: Come on Get Healthy; Slow Food; Go Local

Lil’ Bit of This, Lil’ Bit of That

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Today’s post is a like a buffet of tasty tid bits of information.  Very random, I must admit.  But I’ve been holding this information in my email inbox and I’m ready to share.  In no particular order..Hey, did you know that…

Both men & women love food a whole lot and mention it often in social spaces — Although the MediaPost article focusses in on the cookie brands that were mentioned most, I thought it was more interesting to know thatin a study which analyzed more than 27 billion social media conversations over a one-year period in an effort to discover the top 10 things that men and women want, food items comprise 80% of both mens’/womens’ top 10 lists.  From food to caregiving…

Grandparents are heavily involved — I know this from personal experience as I rely on my Parents for here-and-there, closed-school-days.  74% of grandparents provide care or babysit for their grand kids on a weekly basis.  And it’s grandparents who are “advantaged” who are more likely to babysit;  grandparents with more education and better incomes more likely to provide babysitting; and those less likely to provide it have kids of their own at home or are older, unmarried, and less likely employed.  All of this info was featured in USA today.  Moving from care to codes…

QR code scanners continue to reflect early adopters of tech — 7 in 10 consumers who have scanned a QR code were Male; most likely between 25 and 34.  And for brands, although men and women are aware of the codes, 75% of men are more likely to actually scan to access product information.  This data comes from ScanLife data and BrandSpark. OK and lastly, a little media nugget

Multi-tasking between TV and tablets continues to grow — Research from GfK has found that 63% of tablet owners watch TV while using their tablets.  So what are they paying most attention to media-wise?  Very, very split:  36% say paying attention to both equally; 36% mostly tablet; and 28% mostly the TV.  Lead activity being done on the tablet overall:  using social media.

Wow, I don’t know about you but my brain feels pretty darn full with all of these nuggets!  I think I need to call it a day…just kidding.  Now I can delete my inbox emails!  Hope you have a weekend that’s like a good buffet:  full of lots and lots of stuff you love.  TASTY TRENDS:  Socially Acceptable; Food and Flavor Fun; Here and Now; Go Mobile

Say Cheese and Then Eat It

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I just read an interesting eMarketer POV about consumers’ love of food and how widespread it is in user-generated content.  The image I inserted is a personal example of this behavior:  I baked chocolate chip cookies recently.  I felt compelled to photograph them with Instagram.  And then I shared this image on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Apparently, I am not alone in this snap, share, and eat phenom.  Give these crunchy nuggets a nibble:

I ate this, I made this:  According to 360i, 25% of photographing folks take shots of their food as “food diary” images — with no other specific purpose then to share “this is what I am eating.”  The second most popular reason at 22% is self-creation — what I was doing — “Look, I made this!”

Sweets & Dinner rule:  Also according to 360i, Dinner is the most photographed meal in terms of “food diary” type shots.  And leading the pack of types of food most photographed is Sweets (chocolate cookies, great example!).

Pinning it:  Moving into social specifics, as of May this year, Food is now the leading category with which Pinterest users interact, according to eMarketer.

Apps for it: And to facilitate the mobile aspect, new apps are available specifically to capture and enhance your food shots, including Foodspotting, Platter, and Snapdish.  So for my marketing peeps, that leads me to…

Why a food brand needs to care:  And really, why any brand needs to think visually when they think social now:  According to MBrand, Photos on Facebook are liked 2x more than simple posts.  And if you notch it up to videos, your share rate increases 12x more than links and plain ol’ posts.

I was making those cookies to send with my Son who was going to my sister-in-laws. So I didn’t really eat them…I simple quality controlled them…and they were GOOD!  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Go Mobile; Picture This