On March 27, a Twitter user posted a photo of a Chef Boyardee can laying along the side of the road. The tweet received more than 700,000 retweets and more than 100,000 likes (and counting). The tweet went viral because Twitter’s Millennial followers were taken back to the infamous Chef Boyardee commercial about a can on a mission. Though, that kind of advertising for food doesn’t happen like that anymore.

The ways of food and beverage marketing have drastically changed since the release of the Chef Boyardee commercial. Today, we are seeing things work that we’d never thought appropriate and using tools we would have imagined.

Social Media

A strong social media presence is no longer an option for food and beverage brands. Social sites are the best ways to receive feedback from your presence. However the brands decide to use the sites, engaging with the audience is one of the best things to do. Each brand uses their site differently.

Wendy’s has a high engagement with their audience and is often known for calling out their competitors on Twitter. Taco Bell engages with their audience by asking for ideas for a new menu item or asking about issues with quality control. WaffleLuv, a waffle eatery in Gilbert, posts weekly, delicious looking pictures of their menu items on their Instagram page. The captions to their photos are simple, yet important for their audience, such as store hours or where the WaffleLuv food truck can be found that week.

Find a target audience- which largely should consist of Millennials- and find out what they engage with most. “Millennials expect their brands to have unique ‘personalities’ they can interact with” according to FoodDive.

Go Big and Go Virtual

Think beyond television and print advertising and tap into mobile. Mobile is the most used device used to regularly access social media. Snapchat has become one of the biggest forms of advertising. Brands now take advantage of Snapchat’s filters by creating their own. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell designed a snapchat filter to make their audience’s head look like a taco. Their branding: a simple logo installed in the bottom corner. In one day, that filter had 224 million views.

Project Nourished, a Los Angeles based company, is currently in the process of developing virtual dining experiences with virtual reality. The company wants to provide their audience the ability to be able to taste, smell and feel their food using aromatic diffusers. The aim of their project is to help with weight loss, allergy management and eating therapy. It is projects such as this that food industries need to start getting on board with. The next step for a food brand would be to figure out how they can get their restaurant sponsored. From there, watch their numbers soar.


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Emily Dominguez

Emily Dominguez is the Account Coordinator & Digital Lead at Big Marlin Group. In her free time, she loves to cook and memorize song lyrics to sing in the car.