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Marketing and Food Essay

This literature review will focus on exploring marketing strategies employed when selling food. I will be looking at what influence these marketing strategies have on consumers decision making process and the effectiveness of these strategies. It is clear that consumers don’t all buy the same things and I am interested to find out what causes this difference in product selection. There are many things that can influence these decisions, from the placement of products or the aesthetics of the product. Food companies may also take location or population into account when choosing what product to sell and where to sell it.

Demographical marketing strategies use population statistics as a way of finding out what products will sell best. Lars Perner[1] uses age demographic as an example. “a firm interested in entering the market for sports drinks in a given country, or worldwide, might investigate the number of people between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five, who would constitute a particularly significant market.”

In some countries such as Germany, it has been noted that the birth rate is dropping significantly, in this sort of market, a company may steer away from creating a baby food product in favour of a product geared towards older people, this is due to the old age market being larger than the young age market. Perner also discusses ‘upward pull’ marketing. This takes advantage of social class in order to increase ones desire for a product. By Portraying a product as something the upper class society would consume, it can take advantage of the consumers desire to advance their social class. Companies such as Haagen-Daas, who display their product as a luxury ice-cream, and several wine brands make use of this strategy.

The layout of a supermarket also has a dramatic effect on food sales. One example is the location of the entrance into supermarkets. One study[2] suggests that if the entrance to a supermarket is located on the right side, it encourages counter-clockwise movement throughout the supermarket. Whereas if the entrance is on the left, it encourages clockwise movement. The study claims “counter-clockwise shoppers spend $2 more per trip, than clockwise shoppers.” Products that have a large profit margin are usually located around the perimeter of the supermarket, as most shoppers favour travelling around the perimeter than traversing up and down the isles.

Fresh fruit and vegetable sections are usually located at the start or end of the supermarket, and are presented as a cleaner and more welcoming area to the rest of the supermarket as most shoppers spend the most money in this section. Items placed at the ends of aisles serve as and introduction the items the customer will find in that aisle, the items in the centre of the aisle will receive less time with the customer, so items that will make more of a profit will be placed towards the end of aisles. Commonly purchased items such as milk or bread are generally located at the back of a supermarket, forcing the consumer to travel through many other products in order to get the item they need. It is then that advertising and aesthetic marketing come into play.

Different tactics are employed in certain aisles in order to force customers into decisions. One example may be[3] the use of music and lights in junk food aisles. By using loud music and bright lights, the supermarket may cause the customer to be overwhelmed and make an impulse decision on what to buy, they may reach out for something that would comfort them, such as their favourite junk food. In a different situation, a supermarket may employ the use of dim lights and relaxing music, in order to convince the customer to take their time and spend more time in the supermarket, in turn having them buy more products. Some supermarkets tend to move items around from time to time in order to confuse their customers, having them search through all the aisles in order to find the product, picking up other products along the way. The location of the product is also important, most customers tend to only look at products at are at eye level.

The most expensive items will also be found at eye level, with better deals being hidden away above or below. The packaging of a product can also influence the decisions of a consumer. ”More expensive brands tend to have fancier labelling then generic brands. Therefore we assume the quality is better and are willing to pay higher prices, regardless of whether that is true[4]” Supermarkets also make use of the senses in order to draw customers in and attempt to force them into buying something they didn’t intend to.

They will cater to sight by using colours to evoke certain feelings, light blues and pinks may be used around baby food or sweet sections in order to appeal to children. Reds may be used around alcoholic beverages in order to appeal to consumers emotions such as anger or love, both of which have ties with alcohol and the colour red. They may bake fresh cakes and cookies in the bakery section to draw customers into buying the products due to the appealing smell.

These findings provide evidence of a definite link between the marketing strategies used by supermarkets and brands, and the effect they have on sales of products. A number of ways in which strategies are employed have been noted, such as demographical marketing, placement of products and product aesthetics.

Bibliography

Perner, L. (2008). Food Marketing. Food Marketing. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/food_marketing.html

(2008) The science of supermarket psychology | tribalinsight. The science of supermarket psychology | tribalinsight. [ONLINE] Available at:http://tribalinsight.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/supermarket-psychology/

(2008) Supermarket tricks. 2008, Supermarket tricks. [ONLINE] Available at: http://today.ninemsn.com.au/moneyandconsumer/598695/supermarket-tricks

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[1]Perner, L. (2008). Food Marketing. Food Marketing. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/food_marketing.html [2](2008) The science of supermarket psychology | tribalinsight. The science of supermarket psychology | tribalinsight. [ONLINE] Available at:http://tribalinsight.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/supermarket-psychology/ [3](2008) Supermarket tricks. 2008, Supermarket tricks. [ONLINE] Available at: http://today.ninemsn.com.au/moneyandconsumer/598695/supermarket-tricks [4](2008) Supermarket tricks. 2008, Supermarket tricks. [ONLINE] Available at: http://today.ninemsn.com.au/moneyandconsumer/598695/supermarket-tricks


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