Beer has passed wine as the favorite alcoholic beverage for women between 18 and 34 years old, according to a 2012 Gallup poll. Additionally, women in their 20s and 30s are in “the sweet spot” for craft beer consumption. Many are even choosing an India Pale Ale (IPA) over a Chardonnay.
Brewing companies like Carlsberg that have an 80 percent male customer base, are working on developing products and marketing them to women. Carlsberg’s approach is to create new recipes that are “lighter in alcohol, refreshing in taste, and perceived as healthy enough to take on wine, champagne, and other drinks vying for women’s dollars.” We’ll see if this is the right formula for going about it.
Moreover, it turns out that beer may even offer health benefits for women. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and noted in this infographic, beer protects bone-mineral density because of its high levels of silicon. Women have a higher predisposition for osteoporosis, which affects 44 million Americans – 68 percent are women.
The infographic also points out that the first professional brewers were women, and that back in the day, brewing beer was considered a very important and noble task for the ladies.
According to new research, two thirds of shoppers are using local search at least three to four times a week to check store information. The importance of this to marketers is that 56 percent of shoppers said they would stay within a 10 minute radius when venturing out.
Geoaware and geofencing are the most successful location-based approaches and result in the highest customer click through rates. According to SmallBizTrends.com:
- Geoaware marketing uses real-time location data collected from customers’ mobile devices to deliver targeted messages based on proximity to a particular location or business.
- Geofencing uses similar data to tailor specific marketing for individual customers based on proximity to a location or business they have regularly frequented.
Who’s benefiting most from local, location-based marketing? Retail, travel and restaurant businesses.
Consumers searching for products/services via smart phones and tablets are looking for travel, restaurants and cars, according to research from xAd.
Not only are mobile users looking for these items, but they’re also purchasing them. Eighty-five percent of restaurant searches result in a purchase, generally within an hour. About half of travel and car searches result in a purchase.
How are you using mobile for your brand this year?
Until recently, liquor has been one of a few categories of products that have unapologetically focused on marketing to men. But that appears to be changing. Distillers are creating flavored whiskies to lure women, who have a taste for sweeter drinks, into the category.
This strategy seems to be working — flavored whiskies, such as honey, honey tea, maple and black cherry, were the fastest-growing spirits type in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012, rising 154.8% to 94,000 cases.
If targeting women is your goal, and changing the flavor is not always the answer, here are some other ways to attract women to your brand:
- Let women have fun with your brand. Sauza Tequila’s summer campaign, “Make it with a Fireman,” featured firemen coming ‘to the rescue’ to provide women with tips on how to make the perfect margarita. It’s the same tongue-in-cheek tone as the Old Spice TV spots featuring Isaiah Mustafa (“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”), notes USA Today and aims to be just over-the-top enough to let women know they’re in on the joke.
- Do the unexpected. As part of positioning The Guinness Storehouse as The Friendliest Place on Earth for St. Patrick’s Day, the brand reached out to women — not viewed as the typical stout-drinking target audience — through a paid integration on the Ellen DeGeneres Show with Aer Lingus Vacation Store and Tourism Ireland.
- Make drinking more accessible for women. Forbes.com has dubbed women’s increasing fondness for liquor the “Mad Men phenomenon.” Ten years ago it wasn’t commonplace for women to order whiskey; now, women are bolder about their drink choices and men find this new confidence sexy. Teach women about the finer points of your brand and they’ll be more assured about ordering it.
- There’s more to targeting women than “Shrink and Pink.” Don’t dumb down your message just because you might be talking to an inexperienced drinker. Commit to educating women and they’ll show their appreciation by ordering your brand and speaking your message for you.
Whichever way liquor brands appeal to women, be it through our sweet tooth or sex appeal, women’s changing tastes offer a wealth of opportunity to grow the category. Cheers to that!
Chatting with one dietitian friend at the newly named Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association) Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) this week, I found myself agreeing with her observation that this year’s news was subtle, but music to a nutritionist’s ears.
While there were no big food trends or innovations, we were delighted by the many products and new brand positioning in response to calls to action by health advocates to provide healthier options for consumers. As the saying goes, adapt or die!
1. How sweet it is, or isn’t – With the exception of my toddler nieces, sugar is definitely on the top of everyone’s list of ingredients to reduce or avoid. A few new additions in the food category included Domino Light (C&H on the West Coast) a new blend made of sugar and stevia. Domino is betting it will fare better than McNeil’s Sun Crystals, made of the same ingredients, which did not take off as a newcomer challenger to stevia products Truvia and PureVia some years ago. I also tasted 50% reduced-sugar dried cranberries and learned they have fiber added to them (what doesn’t these days?) and that one company is working on a less tart dried cranberry that won’t “require” sugar added. I hope I’m not over-estimating the appeal of non-sweetened dried cranberries to most consumers. As an alternative, Plum Amazins diced prunes from Sunsweet may give those dried cranberries a run for their money.
Next, beverages. I have been known to gulp down a glass of Welch’s delicious 100% grape juice (36 grams of sugar in 8 ounces), so I was pleasantly surprised by the brand’s Light version, sweetened with Sucralose. It tasted close to the original. Could it be a challenger to popular Trop50 juices, which was sampling its new juice with tea nearby? I tasted fruit drinks targeting adults made with the “not yet a trend” monk fruit. I had heard about Nectresse, new from the makers of Splenda, made from said fruit. I tried it in a light citrus lemonade drink and was surprised by the crisp, refreshing taste. At the Nectresse booth, I spoke with Robyn Flipse, R.D. who predicts the next nutritional guidelines will have specific guidance on what kinds of sweeteners Americans should be using to replace sugar.
2. Thanks to yummy things like sugar, we still need portion control – Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese has added value to its brand through the creation of cooking creams and Indulgence spreads. Their Indulgence spreads are now available as a 4-pack of 1.25-ounce servings, in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cinnamon and Dulce de Leche. Laughing Cow is always reliable for an on the go snack, and introduced a new cream cheese wedge spread. In addition to its juices, Welch’s jam was sampling new single-serve packs, so you don’t have to steal the Smucker’s ones from the diner anymore–perfect for the lunch box or a mess-less PB&J sandwich on the go. And for that PB&J, there is a new bread on the block, the versatile BakeSense–a foldable, rollable and “cut-able” wrap that is the closest thing to a restaurant wrap you will ever find, with a good nutritional profile to boot.
3. In defense of bread — As has become the norm at such events, gluten-free products certainly had a presence, from smaller but steadily growing brands like Pamela’s, Beanitos and Mary’s Gone Crackers to larger brands like Frito Lay. “And in this corner…” — Flat Outs, General Mills (which had its new gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Chex on hand), Kellogg’s and Dreamfields Low-carb Pasta, wheat mainstays. The Wheat Foods Council and Grain Foods Foundation had an array of white papers and articles discussing what dietitians should keep in mind when counseling clients about gluten.
Perhaps the shortage of big products and trends this year shows not only how challenging it is even for the innovators to continue innovating, but also that we don’t need so many trends. We just need good, simple, real food.
Favorite “duh” innovation – Apparently, someone thought of this years ago, but I absolutely love the Altoid-style case for a 1-ounce serving of almonds from the Almond Board. I expect this will help me stick to 1-ounce of my favorite nut from now on.
Is the recent news that Barilla plans to launch a chain of branded restaurants in the U.S. next year part of a trend among brands opening their own “brick and mortar” outlets? A step up from the “pop up” store, establishing a retail outlet in a major market can increase brand recognition beyond the supermarket so it can stand out from its competitors, which include cheaper private label brands that continue to gain popularity.
Chobani opened a store this summer in downtown Manhattan offering its Greek yogurt with a variety of toppings to strengthen its position in a rapidly growing market and increase its base of brand loyalists as did Dannon, with a store in midtown. Dannon’s Yogurt Culture Company offers locally produced yogurts and customizable blends unlike the typical Dannon products we find on supermarkets shelves, satisfying a “consumer demand for freshness and customization” that can’t be provided by food manufacturers in a grocery store, points out Michael Neuwirth, senior director of PR for Dannon. Though not in a major media market, Smithfield Foods also opened its own Taste of Smithfield store in Smithfield, Virginia to support its hometown and test out new products.
What is significant is the formal foray into a space where packaged food brands rare venture. Brands like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and California Pizza Kitchen typically evolve from the opposite direction: retail outlets to your local supermarket.
Not every brand has the right or the budget to commit to a branded store, but I can think of a few types of products that could. Products in the categories of bread, salad dressing, poultry, spices and jams are potential candidates . The fact that there exists in New York eateries dedicated to one dish or type of food (e.g., peanut butter, rice pudding, cupcakes) is evidence that there is a market for tasty creativity with a singular focus. However, since a retail outlet can be an expensive proposition, brands can also look to other ways to forge new territory, such as partnering with chefs and restaurants (ala Newman’s Own and McDonald’s), having a presence in unexpected places like museums and movie theaters, or of course, branding a food truck, a marketing vehicle we still adore.
Will the Barilla and yogurt stores encourage Americans to eat more pasta or buy more brand-name yogurt? We’ll be watching to see what happens.
Courtesy of Marina Maher Communications LLC
Have you noticed all the new alcoholic beverages that now target women? Over the past year or two, producers have developed entire product lines just for women, ranging from lower-calorie drinks with a health appeal to fruit-flavored versions of established brands. This trend is said to be attributed to the renewed interest in classic cocktails like daiquiris, Pimm’s Cup and every flavor of martini imaginable.
Targeting women is smart thinking for the $19.2 billion spirits business. According to the New England Consulting Group, women make 65 to 70% of the alcohol purchasing decisions for at-home consumption. And in restaurants, alcohol servings to women increased 9% in 2009 and 3% in 2010, according to market researchers NPD Group.
“If you’re only focused on creating solutions in spirits for half the population, then you’re obviously missing out on satisfying a large group of potential consumers,” Beam Chief Executive Matthew J. Shattock recently told Bloomberg Businessweek.
So alcohol producers are now trying to deliver what women want. Here are some of the brands that now court women.
- SkinnyGirl Cocktails, created by reality star Bethenny Frankel, is a growing portfolio of low-calorie wines, vodkas and ready-to-drink margaritas, cosmopolitans and sangrias. Acquired by Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. in 2011 for a reported $100 million, SkinnyGirl was the fastest growing liquor brand in the US last year.
- Voli Vodka has 25 to 40% fewer calories than leading brands, featuring flavors like Raspberry Cocoa, Espresso Vanilla, Pear Vanilla, Lemon, and Orange Vanilla.
- Big Easy Blends: Women accounted for most of the $4.6 million in sales of this on-the-go frozen margarita brand in 2011, earning it the nickname “Mommy juice box.”
- Campari America, with a portfolio that includes Skyy Vodka, Wild Turkey Bourbon, American Honey and Russell’s Reserve sponsors ”Women & Whiskeys” tasting and education events and a community on Facebook to help women understand the finer points of whiskey.
So how can marketers capitalize on this trend and cater to women’s interests and tastes?
- Educate her: Women are thirsty for information about spirits and wine. Offer her real-life or virtual educational forums that teach her how to appreciate your brands
- Give her something to talk about: Women love to recommend brands and cocktails to their friends. So create cocktails for her or give her news and information she can pass along
- Don’t insult her intelligence: She may be new to the category, but chances are she has sophisticated tastes. So be mindful of taking down to her.
- Make her ask for you: She often has to balance a desire for top-shelf brands with her budget. The more you can show her how to appreciate the qualities of your brand, the less important budget becomes.