Megatrend from 1982 impacts foodservice marketing today

By now you’ve had your fill reading about foodservice trends, predictions and guru insights on what is going to turn your marketing plans inside out for 2015.

You know the routine.  Consumers want more healthy foods, locally sourced goods, ready-to-heat from the grocery or delivered by a food truck.  And make it Asian (or insert your favorite cuisine here!).

It’s all fascinating information, but most trends have little to do with how to convince more operators to pick your brand over all others.

We need to go back to 1982 for a major trend that has more impact today on foodservice marketing than any of the latest culinary fads…

John Naisbitt’s book Megatrends is one of those rare “futurist” books that has held steady for decades.  It’s probably more relevant to foodservice now than when it was first published because of the industry’s upheavals in competition, distribution and the proliferation of chains.

In a nutshell, the book says that as “high tech” disrupts the normal operation of things, there’s an ever higher need for “high touch.” In other words, maintaining strong human relationships is more important as technology, by its nature, reduces human interaction.

So, as a foodservice marketer, 2015 is a great year to…

  • Build stronger relationships with brokers and distributors so they can create better relationships with operators.
  • Create natural ways for operators to communicate back to you (and, no, we don’t mean social media). Operators are in the “people” business which means they provide the most value during face-to-face conversations.
  • Be the constant provider of ideas whether it’s recipes, prep hints or customer examples from which others can learn. And provide ideas consistently with the goal of starting conversations with customers, not simply to sell your product.  That’s what a human would do who wants to build a relationship.

Welcome, back to the future.

 Considerations for January Planning

  • May is for National Hospital Week and National Nursing Home Week (both May 10-16). Great time to provide some ideas to these major non-commercial segments.
  • How about preparing some special recipes to “end the school year”… rather than going with the crowd that provides ideas at the beginning of school season?