Why Grocery Retailers and Food Brands Need To Go All In On Using Recipe Content On Social Media
51% of grocery transactions are influenced by digital touchpoints and more than two-thirds of online grocery shoppers feel that the digital experience is core to where they shop. If the digital experience provided by a grocery store or food brand is inefficient, bland or dated, consumers will look elsewhere. Digital influences both online grocery transactions and brick and mortar shopping trips, with 88% of grocery shoppers using smartphones while shopping in-store. An excellent website experience is just one part of creating a digital experience that drives sales. For an increasing number of food and beverage consumers, the customer journey begins on social media.
No generation gets this more than Gen Z. As digital natives who are taking their first steps towards independence, meeting them where they are is key in grabbing their attention and winning their loyalty. Where they are is on social media. A staggering 80% of Gen Z are influenced by social media when shopping and 54% list social media as the top influence channel for purchases, ahead of websites. Grocery retailers and food brands should take note. While many from Gen Z still live at home, an increasing number are making their own food choices. It's a significant number too, with Gen Z making up approximately 40% of U.S. consumers as of 2020. This is a generation that loves to cook and is most comfortable on social media so thumb-stopping recipe content from grocery retailers and food brands is vital if they are to increase brand awareness amongst Gen Z and foster loyalty. Gen Z wants the content they consume to be entertaining and interactive, and recipe content ticks both boxes. It is also valuable to a generation of young people who are finding their feet in the kitchen for perhaps the first time. In the past, parents of college-bound students would have presented them with a student-friendly cookbook before they left home. Gen Z is different. They have had independent access to the information they needed when and where they needed it for almost their entire lives and they are prepared to take control of sourcing their own recipe content. Since their number one choice for sourcing purchasing information is social media, recipe content should make up a large part of a grocery retailer or food brand's social media strategy in order to leverage their interest in and desire to engage with cooking.
It's not just Gen Z that is interested in valuable content on social media. 66% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if the website has social media posts with pictures or videos from real customers. Recipe content plays its part here too. Customers are unlikely to share pictures of their weekly grocery purchases but take one look at Instagram and you'll understand that people are only too happy to share a photo of their dinner. They're less likely to share this content with their grocery retailer though unless prompted. Recipe content on social media is an incredibly effective way to encourage consumers to help increase brand awareness through user-generated content. This is not an overnight solution, but regularly sharing recipe content on social media, encouraging followers to try it out and sharing their results with your followers will, in time, have a snowball effect. Not only does it increase brand awareness, but it helps build a reputation as a reliable source of recipe content and drives traffic to your website. Make those recipes shoppable and you're well on your way to leveraging the popularity of both online grocery and home cooking. This is particularly important now, especially when you consider that 84% of consumers want brands to give tips on coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
Sharing and promoting recipe content on social media is an effective way to drive website traffic. In fact, 42% of US adults will make a recipe based on a social media recommendation. The ultimate aim is of course to increase sales and basket value. As mentioned, user-generated content plays a part here but it's not the only solution. 55% of consumers have bought a product online after social media discovery so it has clearly become an established part of the customer journey. Unlike apparel, for example, simply sharing an image of the product is not always enough. You're unlikely to purchase a particular brand of basmati rice based on a social media image of the product. A more engaging approach is required, and that's where recipe content comes in. Pinterest illustrates this better than any other social media platform. 72% of food and beverage weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on seeing content from food and beverage brands on Pinterest. No one is searching Pinterest for product images, but they are searching for recipe content. For food brands, a combination of the two is ideal. Recipe content that includes the product in the hero image on Pinterest and other social media platforms places the brand at the forefront of the minds of consumers who are already likely to make a purchase based on social media content. Recipe content on social media platforms such as Pinterest can also help increase basket value. People on Pinterest spend 5% more on food in general than the US average.
The sort of recipe content you share on social media matters too. 47% of consumers are turned off by influencer content that is repetitive and grocery retailers and food brands are not immune. Fresh, trend-driven, crave-worthy recipe content that is relevant to your customers' needs performs better than recipe content that is chosen without thought. Quality matters over quantity here. 2000 specifically curated recipes will engage consumers better than 4,000,000 recipes scraped from the internet. This strategy will also make it easier for marketing teams to select appropriate content that is guaranteed to perform on social media. Since 18-35-year-olds spend the equivalent of 5 days a year browsing food pictures on Instagram, sharing recipe content that will grab their attention is key.
Social media has been a vital part - the most important part - of marketing strategies for many years now. This is not news. For grocery retailers and food brands, a successful social media strategy needs to go far beyond simply sharing special offers and product launches. Using every asset available to its fullest is key and in food, the attention-grabbing nature of recipe content is unmatched.