Groups Woo Foodies Online to Boost Customer Savvy
Need a great pasta recipe or a way to incorporate more pecans into your diet? There’s new help out there. Four food industry trade associations recently launched mobile websites to build direct engagement with customers. The secret sauce? They serve up information and tips---and hold the advertising.
Aiming to be go-to sources for food-related news, trends, recipes, and nutrition information, four trade associations recently launched mobile-friendly, foodie-focused, ad-free websites.
“With the growth of the celebrity chef and the increasing interest in food-related content, industry associations have an opportunity to play an important role in providing the latest nutritional research, recipes, trends, and helpful tips,” Debra Berliner, vice president of Kellen Communications, said in a statement. Kellen managed the site development processes for the associations.
In partnership with Kellen, the Association of Dressings and Sauces, National Pecan Shellers Association, Juice Products Association, and National Pasta Association each launched a category-specific website—pastafits.org, juicecentral.org, saladaday.org, and ilovepecans.org—that focuses on products as opposed to the group’s member companies.
“For the trade association it’s a pretty simple equation: Having an informed customer who understands the category and how and why to use the products makes for good business for everyone,” Berliner said.
While the associations already had websites, the idea of creating mobile-friendly sites specifically tailored to consumers is relatively new, Berliner said. And while the sites’ mobile-friendly design is on-trend, the lack of ads is unusual. Funded by the associations’ member companies, the websites are solely devoted to information and news about the products and do not feature endorsements for the companies.
Creating consumer-focused websites with content on how best to use products is an idea that can translate to other industries, Berliner said. And it ultimately benefits members’ bottom lines.
“Any industry that has a consumer as an end user could certainly benefit from having their association act as a resource in this way to show [consumers] why and how they should use the product category and how it can benefit them in their daily lives,” she said. “Having an informed customer really is good business.”