by Full Tilt Marketing
Milwaukee, WI—Full Tilt Marketing asked 50 food bloggers to share their most popular fruit and vegetable posts for 2016 and the were gleaned for insights. The analysis found the key driving factors that made the recipes popular with consumers included; appearance, seasonality, flavor profiles and healthy substitutes.
In fact, 74% of the bloggers’ recipes included descriptive comments such beautiful, stunning, looks so good, and amazing. Melinda Goodman, Managing Partner at FullTilt Marketing commented, “It’s no surprise that appearance drove overall popularity of posts with likes, shares and comments highest on attractive images. We’ve always heard that a picture’s worth a thousand words and your image is your first impression.”
This visual likability drove millions of impressions, with over 20% of the posts generating 20,000 or more pins. One of the top recipe posts, Sweet Potato Round with Goat Cheese and Cranberries from Ciao Florentina, generated 189,000 shares and touched on a combination of winning factors including visual appeal, wow flavors, seasonal interest and healthy ingredients.
Cynthia Rusincovitch, blogger from My Nourished Home remarked, “The most popular recipe on my blog continues to be sautéed kale and this has been the case for two years.” Rusincovitch continued, “I find my audience, mostly moms of busy families, want healthier choices that are simple and taste great so they don’t need to fight with their kids to eat them, but they also want dishes that are inspired by what they are seeing in magazines and eating in restaurants.”
The more subtle and less than obvious results that didn’t address appearance were around content related to seasonality, health, a twist on the classics and global flavors…all ideas popular in current trends today.
Of the all blog posts analyzed, a third of the recipes highlighted a healthy twist on a traditional classic. In many cases centering on healthier substitutions with zucchini, cauliflower and spaghetti squash, or modifying a recipe to reduce sugar, make it gluten free or even paleo as the recipe anchor. Top recipes featuring healthier substitutions included Healthified Sweet Potato Casserole, Creamy Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup, and Thyme Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic.
Several of the recipes replaced traditional staples with ingredients such as zucchini or spaghetti squash instead of pasta and cauliflower replacing risotto rice or potatoes. And as the pictures below prove, the new dishes look exactly like their pasta and potato counterparts.
The importance of seasonal ingredients in this review did not go unnoticed. 34% of the top recipes were presented as seasonal dishes and included an emphasis on rising ingredients such as those featured in Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade, Grilled Watermelon Margaritas, Autumn Root Vegetable Salad, Spring Brussel Sprout Salad and Summer Berry Fruit Salad with Lime Glaze to name just a few.
In closing, Heidi McIntyre, Managing Partner of FullTilt commented, “From drinks to desserts, breads, salads and side dishes the bloggers proved that what’s popular isn’t one type of food, preparation or trend, but an overall interest in utilizing more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthier diet.”
And if you’re wondering why it matters what food bloggers write about, you only need to consult the research on the power of purchase influence that bloggers wield. In a recent study from Research Now, 2/3 of all consumers read blogs weekly and nearly 9 in 10 consumers make purchases after reading about a product or service on a blog. “Not only are blogs the new trusted media, they are also a key source of peer-to-peer word of mouth advertising that supports all steps of the purchase decision process from discovery to research to price comparison and sometimes direct purchase,” commented Goodman.
Full Tilt Marketing is a consulting firm with offices in the Southeast and Midwest. The firm specializes in produce and food marketing. Working with commodity boards and grower/shippers, Full Tilt assists clients with new product development, brand management, retail promotions, online marketing, social media and marketing communications.