January 3rd, 2012 By Jack Morton
Food brands have the potential to be great experience brands.
Just think about the huge importance (physical and emotional) we assign to the act of not only eating food but also increasingly of preparing food (think of the endless cooking shows, sites and personalities out there) and shopping for food.
Yet while retail food and restaurant brands have figured out how to create distinctive and unique experiences that engage their customers and change the category (think Whole Foods and Chipotle), ingredient food brands arguably haven’t been as successful.
But there’s hope, as evidenced by two articles out today that focus on food brands that have done a terrific job of inviting participation from customers—and even learning from them to innovate new products:
- Kraft’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese is featured in a Businessweek article touting the 15% growth rate the brand has achieved, in part by studying how consumers actually use their products and launching new products like Cooking Creme and a soon to be released chocolate product.
- McCormick’s CEO is interviewed in the Wall Street Journal discussing the brand’s growth leap and international expansion based on understanding how consumers’ use of their spices varies based on geography and economic conditions (e.g., spices for cost-saving dishes like tacos and spaghetti in recessionary times).