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BY THE NUMBERS: Social Media Redefines Our Relationship With Food

Move over mom. It looks like social media may be replacing you as our go-to resource for all things cooking-related. These interesting findings from a newly released study calledClicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture caught our eye. What do you think about how social media is making an impact on your relationship with food?

How Americans learn to cook, select recipes, plan their meals, purchase their food and share their culinary secrets with others has dramatically changed, according to a new study released last week. Called Clicks& Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture, the study finds social/digital media is replacing mom as the go-to culinary source for many people.

The study was jointly developed and conducted by consumer research firm The Hartman Group and Publicis Consultants USA, a food & nutrition marketing agency, part of MSLGROUP Americas.

Study results show almost half of consumers learn about food via social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, and 40 percent learn about food via websites, apps or blogs.

“Consumers used to rely on mom and family traditions for meal planning, but now search online for what to cook, without ever tasting or smelling,” said Laurie Demeritt, president and COO at The Hartman Group. “Digital food selection is less of a sensory experience and more of a visual and rational process: What’s on the label? What’s in the recipe? Show me the picture!”

In the past, whereas consumers listened to the opinions of a few trusted resources, such as mom and other family members, when deciding what to buy, cook or eat, modern consumers crowdsource for opinions before deciding what to buy.

What’s more, the infiltration of social media into the food experience goes far beyond purchasing and preparing food; it now includes the meal experience as well.

While eating or drinking at home, nearly one-third of Americans use social networking sites. Among Millennials (18-32 years old), this figure jumps to 47 percent.

The study reveals it’s not enough for food and grocery brands simply to be present in the virtual space or build up legions of followers. The payoff is a long-term and personal relationship that creates brand advocates and an emotional connection that drives influence. To achieve such an enriching relationship, communication must be relevant and have a distinct and authentic personality.

[SOURCE:Publicis Consultants USA]

Ever wondered if you are using social media to your best advantage? Stop wondering, and call the experts at Customer Insight Group. They can help you craft a social media strategy that meets your business objectives.