Market Focus - Foodies: Money Rumblings
Of course, foodies buy food: wine, gourmet chocolates, unique sauces, grass-fed beef, flavored vinegars. And then there are the gadgets. "Gadgets are something people are willing to spend money on, and sometimes the gadgets are things they don't even need," says Jen Beltz, owner of Front Burner PR, a boutique PR firm in Portland, Maine, that specializes in food, restaurant and hospitality clients.
Foodies buy more than food and gadgets, which makes them an attractive market for all kinds of products. "We see a lot of usage [of our lists] from travel mailers because these people are very into the good life," says Bullock. "Because they tend to be fairly affluent, nonprofits like food banks and health-related fundraisers also use the lists." Other targeters of this group include publishers of magazines-especially regional magazines, travel publications and home-related magazines.
Getting at the Gourmet Group
This adventurous market is amenable to different means of marketing, from e-mail to direct mail to print ads. "It depends on the product and the personality," says Beltz. "For example, if it's a restaurant, we set up a simple e-newsletter to go out to their distribution list, and we grow the distribution list with cards attached to each bill ... and don't send the newsletter out too often-say every four to six weeks. It keeps you on people's radar."
As for messaging, appeal to this group's need to be in the know. "In getting to them, you have to let them know what they already know," says Nellis. "‘I know you already know this, but did you know this part of it?' They already know a lot ... you're just supplying them with the next step."
At the same time, foodies are desperate for the minute details about the products and services you're selling. For example, Reichardt has defined his olive oil products as having three taste characteristics: delicate, full-flavored and robust. Each characteristic is color-coded, and the company has created cards that sit on supermarket shelves that describe which olive oil flavors go with which foods. "Our retailers go crazy over this system," says Reichardt.