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    Word of Mouth Fuels 'Fashionable Food'

    A look at the influential role of bloggers and trends

    By Bill Sussman , Collective Bias

    If pop culture’s current kale obsession is any proof, clothing isn’t the only thing that can be in style. When a particular product becomes popular, shopper demand can quickly begin clearing grocery store shelves.

    In decades past, brands have relied on celebrity testimonials and print ads to fuel the popularity of their products. But there's always been one common denominator that's been most effective when it comes to sparking trends – particularly food – which is word of mouth.

    From the recipes and cooking techniques passed down from one generation to another, to trying out your friend’s drink suggestions, word of mouth is the backbone of any trend; people trust the opinions of other real people, rather than what a brand ad or paid celebrity is telling them. This sentiment remains stronger than ever in the age of social media, where sharing an opinion and starting a trend is just a click away. In fact, 70 percent of consumers trust consumer opinions posted online, according to Nielsen.

    Want to start a trend with your product? Let’s discuss the role food bloggers, mom bloggers, and other social influencers have in igniting food trends and why you should be utilizing them in your brand marketing efforts. 

    Moms, the ultimate holders of purse strings, read blogs

    While modern household roles are constantly evolving, women make or influence 85 percent of all consumer purchases, according to MediaPost. Furthermore, 63 percent of all online moms read blogs. Why are they visiting blogs? To read authentic content about topics that interest them, to discover great new products and to research products they are considering purchasing.

    Mom bloggers are the go-to sources for moms everywhere, because they are “real” people who may be on budgets, know how to feed families, and know exactly how to cater to their audience.

    The products they are writing about and sharing on their social channels are what their large, dedicated readerships are going to try out for themselves and their families. Over 29 percent of social media consumers are on social network sites while they eat or drink at home, according to a Hartman Group survey. Social media is where these consumers will naturally document the awesome meal they just made or drink they just purchased. This is one way a modern food or product trend starts, powered by word of mouth. 

    People trust websites focused on food

    The truth is in the numbers: a study by BlogHer found that 91 percent of the general population trusts online recipe sites and 73 percent trust food blogs. What is going to drive a consumer to try an unfamiliar food or just-launched product? A tasty recipe they discovered on one of their favorite food blogs. A food can only become a trend if people are ready and willing to try it, and foodie influencers give them an easy reason to. Food bloggers bring grocery products to life through mouthwatering photography and audience-specific cooking tips in a step-by-step format that is easy to recreate and can be taken with them to the market. What better place to have your product highlighted than where modern shoppers are looking for food inspiration.

    Final note: Banner ads and print circulators simply won’t cut it in the social sharing age. Put your brand where the people are – on the platforms they trust. Today’s food trendsetters are everyday people who have garnered incredible online followings thanks to their authentic content and ability to weave mundane subjects into a compelling story. How will your brand start a trend?

    By Bill Sussman , Collective Bias
    • About Bill Sussman Bill Sussman is president and CEO of Collective Bias, a shopper social media company that drives sales for brands and retailers by working with a community of expert bloggers who create social content consumers actively seek out and trust. Sussman has deep experience in digital marketing, retail and media industries, and has previously held leadership positions at Nickelodeon, Walmart, Triad Retail Media and Ringling Bros. [email protected]

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