Why online marketing should not be underestimated by food brands

Most food brands in the German market still make above 75% of their turnover in stationary retail or HoReCa, which is why a lot of them underestimate the power of digital marketing for their sales, brand reputation and comparison to competitors. Learn in this article which benefits online marketing can offer food & beverage brands and how German consumers use it in their purchase decisions.

Media use in Germany

For the past years, the major media channels in Germany (TV, radio, newspaper, magazines) are seeing a decline in usage, whereas online consumption is rising, currently already being a news and information channel for more than 85% of the country´s population. Among the top 5 online searches, consumers look a lot for cooking and recipes, which shows that food and nutrition are in special focus. And as in many other countries, the use of search engines ranks number one, when you look at people´s most frequent online activities. All this being said, a lot of food brands still do not see the relevance of the digitalized world for their portfolio, as most of all food & beverage sales are still made in stationary retail. Their focus often lies on packaging design and POS promotions, which also are highly important to drive sales, but are not the only ways to do so. Here are some reasons why.

Why your food brand should be visible online

  1. Online searches for food & food related topics

On average, around 40% of people purchasing a product in stationary retail search information upfront on the world wide web. 31% of all smartphone users in a survey by Statista comment, that they use their phone in the store, to look at product commercials of a specific product they want to buy. The 4 highest ranked reasons are checking the price, searching information for the product, looking at product reviews and searching for coupons or discount codes. Anything a brand can offer their consumers at this important step of the sales funnel can therefore only be beneficial.

  1. Brand reputation

As already mentioned, searches and comparisons are a highly used online activity among German consumers, especially for products that show a higher interest level. In other words, an expensive bottle of champagne as a birthday gift will probably get more search hits than a pack of milk or flour. It is therefore crucial for brands that have a specific story to tell to be present in the digital world, as this is where consumers actively seek information. As you can imagine, the interest and attention level of a person actively searching for a product, category or other kind of solution, is many times higher than of a person passively consuming a TV commercial while at the same time typing into their phone. Telling your story to people that are actually interested is a very important way to get information across to the right people, and build reputation for your brand as a trusted source.

  1. Don´t leave it to your competitor

As in the supermarket shelf: if your product is sold out, people are gonna buy the competitor. The same is true for the digital world. If you cannot be found, the user is going to buy a gift voucher in a different shop, or will save the recipe of your competitor, in the end buying their milk and butter when they come to the supermarket next time. The food industry is an extremely competitive market with hundreds of thousands of products to choose from, so make sure you lead the online game, and do not let your competitor take all the clicks of interested consumers.

Luckily, online marketing is also (on an average level) much cheaper than classic media, which can also be a good reason to try more things in that area and get digitally connected to your target group. The effort is definitely worth the hassle.

If you need any help with your online marketing activities as a food & beverage brand - and we know it is not an easy industry - we are happy about hearing from you:

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