food packaging on shelves

Food Marketing – your comprehensive guide

At its core, food marketing is about creating a connection between a food company and its target audience, the consumers.

What is Food Marketing?

The term refers to the strategies and tactics used by food companies to promote their products and services to consumers, often working with a food marketing agency. These marketing strategies often include market research, segmentation, positioning, branding, targeting, and consumer research. Food marketing encompasses a broader scope compared to food advertising, which focuses on specific promotions.

What is the difference between food marketing and food advertising?

Food marketing and food advertising are related concepts but have distinct differences:

Food Marketing:

Food marketing encompasses a broad range of strategies and tactics used by food companies to promote their products and services to consumers. It involves aspects such as

  • market research
  • segmentation
  • positioning
  • branding
  • targeting
  • consumer research

Food marketing aims to create a connection between a food company and its target audience. It includes all the efforts made to increase brand recognition, establish a brand identity, and understand consumer preferences. Here at Audacious, we specialize in working with clients from the food and drinks industry.

Food Advertising:

Food advertising is a subset of food marketing, focusing on specific promotions and advertisements for food products or services.

It involves creating and disseminating promotional messages through media channels, such as print, television, radio, and digital platforms. It aims to inform and persuade potential consumers to buy a particular food product.

Food advertising typically highlights product features, benefits, pricing, or promotional offers to attract consumer attention and generate sales. It will typically be created by a top food marketing agency.

food marketing and food photography

The connection to R&D

Research and development (R&D) are vital components of food marketing. Before a food product is manufactured, food companies will conduct in-depth research to understand consumer preferences.

Using focus groups as well as, increasingly, online or crowd-sourced research, companies develop food product ideas that resonate with their target audience and achieve Product Market Fit.

Some companies invest heavily in brand development to generate more demand for their products, which in turn can make consumers more willing to pay a premium for these products.

Food Packaging

Once a food product passes the testing phase, companies need to draw attention to their product through packaging. Consumers make purchasing decisions based on the visual appeal of food packaging. The packaging of a food product should communicate a clear message to potential consumers. Food packaging should be created by a food packaging design studio with CPG experience.

Specific colours, such as red and yellow, in food labelling can have a psychological impact on people’s desire for food. Food products focusing on organic ingredients might feature more “earthy” colours compared to bright colours, which could suggest the presence of artificial additives.

All marketing trends change over time, and staying current is crucial. More companies are adopting digital marketing strategies with a softer touch to create brand loyalty. We see a rise in family-oriented and emotionally-driven advertising aimed at building trust.

Food trends that could influence a food product’s development include popular factors like Organic, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, and Reduced Salt or Sugar, fermented and gut-friendly food, among others. These food trends can significantly impact product design.

The Food Industry – a quick overview

The food industry is a complex network of farmers, local businesses, and various companies that collectively provide much of the food consumed globally.

Employing marketing techniques can be highly beneficial for the food industry. Food processing has a long history of adding value to unprocessed agricultural products through convenience improvements, increased shelf life, enhanced flavours, or better aesthetics.

However, nutritional content can decrease during processing, and studies have correlated ultra-processed foods with obesity and chronic ailments like diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid unhealthy food marketing to children and adults. In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) member states recommended limiting the marketing of foods high in saturated fat, trans fats, free sugars, and salt.

What are Marketing Techniques?

Marketing techniques are essential in building relationships with customers and increasing brand recognition. Food marketing agencies deploy strategies that aim to boost sales through advertising and securing prominent shelf space in grocery stores.

Any action taken to enhance a company’s visibility and reputation or attract new customers is considered a marketing approach. Food marketing techniques should be crafted carefully.

What are Marketing Campaigns?

Marketing campaigns are collections of strategic actions supporting a company’s aim or goal. They can be used to advertise goods, services, products, or brands in general. Campaign activities contribute to the overall campaign concept.

Food Advertising to Children

Marketing to children is a controversial issue. While young people can differentiate between good and bad food advertisements, children often do not think carefully before purchasing a food product.

They may overlook the ingredients and be more susceptible to unhealthy food marketing. This contributes to childhood obesity, which is increasing globally.

Advertisers need to avoid promoting unhealthy foods in their advertisements, and there are ethical concerns in the digital space. It is essential to consider the potential impact of marketing on diets and health.


In conclusion, food marketing is a crucial aspect of the food industry, playing a significant role in creating a connection between a food company and its consumers.

By working with a reputable food marketing agency and carefully crafting marketing techniques, food companies can build relationships with customers and increase brand recognition while considering public health. By staying on top of food marketing trends, companies can position themselves as premium brands in their market, leading to higher prices and greater success.

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Andreas Duess, food marketing expert
Andreas Duess, Food Marketing Expert

Whether you need help figuring out how to make your social media deliver positive ROI or your packaging actually support sales off shelf, or any other food-related challenge, we’re here for you. 

Book a free 15-minute discovery call with me. I am happy to discuss your food or drinks business and any questions you may have.

 No sales, no obligations, just straightforward advice. 

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