2020 Recap: 5 Blogs that defined the year

2020 is quickly coming to an end, and we can’t help but take a look back at the blogs we’ve posted this year and see how things have changed. Without sounding too cliché, it’s pretty obvious that 2020 has been quite a rollercoaster. With the food & beverage industry constantly in flux due to the ongoing pandemic, the call for transparency and racial equality and equity, and one of the most important elections of our lifetimes – we’ve gone through a lot this year. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot for us to learn from 2020. Here’s a look back at a few of our favorite blogs from this year, and what we can do to set ourselves up for success in 2021.

Food Tech: A New Frontier

Written back in January, this blog outlined how technology is changing the industry. Although we originally focused on how tech can be used to improve research and development as well as packaging design, one huge takeaway from this year is how important tech can be to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. eCommerce sales grew exponentially during the early months of COVID-19. Brands that had already established themselves on Amazon and/or their own DTC sites saw an increase in traffic early on, whereas those who didn’t had to quickly adapt to shifting consumer purchasing habits. Our takeaway: Investing in tech is necessary for brands to be able to adjust to critical periods.

Ad Claims 101: What Every Marketer Needs to Know

To be honest, ad claims have always been important. However, one of 2020’s biggest trends that will definitely continue into 2021 is transparency. Shoppers expect brands to be open and honest with them, and they can very easily see through puffery and false claims. 2020 has only highlighted the importance of this. Our takeaway: Revisit your current marketing strategy and ensure that your core customers are not confused (or misled) by your claims – and, back up any ad claims with proper legal substantiation.

Private Labels: Finding their seat at the table

In early April, panic buying caused many retailers to sell out of many products, especially shelf-stable pantry staples. Although national legacy brands were some of the first to be sold out, shoppers quickly turned their attention to private brands. Focused more on availability and less on brand, many consumers tried private brand products for the first time – and many will continue to buy those products. Our takeaway: Private brands are on the rise, and with careful planning and marketing many of these labels can continue to cultivate loyal shoppers.

Mind the gap: Tackling perception by highlighting quality

Speaking of private brands, earlier this year our Director of Sales and Marketing, Chris Faridniya, wrote a piece about how private brands are reshaping the grocery store experience. He discussed the common misconception that private labels are often lower-quality because of their typically low price-point. When in fact, through our sensory testing, we have determined that it is not fair to assume that and private brands are lower-quality compared to national brands – and private labels should highlight that through their marketing. Our takeaway: One of the best ways to keep this influx of new shoppers interested in private brands is to highlight quality (to learn more about how our sensory testing can benefit your brand, please contact us).

Creating Community Through Influencer Marketing

If we learned one thing this year, not just within the food & beverage industry, it’s that having a supportive community is extremely helpful during this isolating period. Cultivating a digital space for your brand to interact with your followers is the best way to keep your audience engaged. Whether it’s through a network of micro-influencers or speaking directly to your followers, fostering relationships with your core customers is an easy way to offer support and guidance through these turbulent times. Our takeaway: Continue to use social media to foster a community with your loyal customers.

What is your biggest takeaway from 20202? Let us know by tagging us @chefbest on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.