More consumers turn to social media for food knowledge


SEATTLE — Mom is being replaced by technology as the go-to source for culinary knowledge, according to a new report.

In their new report, "Clicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture," consumer research firm The Hartman Group and food and nutrition marketing agency Publicis Consultants USA found that almost 50% of consumers learn about food via social networking sites, including Twitter and Facebook, while 40% learn about food via websites, mobile applications or blogs. While eating or drinking at home, nearly one-third of Americans use social networking sites, but among Millennials (those ages 18 to 32 years), this figure jumps to 47%.

“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!”

The study, the companies said, provides insight for food and grocery brands that are looking to develop digital campaigns, which could provide long-term payoff by creating a connection that inspires influence. Being present in social media or having followers is not enough, they said.

"The best social and digital campaigns reflect the audience’s values, interests, concerns and aspirations,” Publicis Consultants USA president Steve Bryant said. “There are many brand opportunities for each specific consumer. For example, a brand may entice 'dreamers' [those that curate and push food-related content through social networks] by incorporating their recipes on its site, or appeal to a 'spectator' [use social media as an extension of their network of friends, family and peers, and use social media for product reviews, recipes and good deals] by offering incentives in exchange for a video review,” states Bryant.

For the complete findings of "Clicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture," click here.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds