Key Ingredients To Connecting In The Kitchen

D'Elia Majoria

D'Elia Majoria

Media Coordinator

Remember the good old days when recipes were read from a bound book and grocery lists were written out by hand on a notepad from the recipe’s required ingredients? The cook would refer back to their printed recipe, and magnificent dishes such as the Ham and Bananas Hollandaise would be the final product.

Obviously, things have changed since then.

While we used to begin cooking by grabbing the latest cookbook off of the shelf or flipping through the worn pages of our grandmother’s treasured hand-written recipes, the power and versatility of mobile devices has drastically shifted today’s cooking journey, effectively putting a world of food-related knowledge at our fingertips. Not only has the method of consumption shifted, but the standard for the actual content of recipes has been upgraded.

From Cooking Instructions To Food Conversations

The trends in cooking that once drove user behavior and purchase decisions have rapidly evolved over the last fifty years, and this evolution has gained momentum exponentially within the last ten. A 2015 Google Consumer Survey noted that 59% of 25- to 34-year-olds cook with either their smartphones or tablets. With the swipe of a finger, we can connect to thousands of recipes almost instantly. Search the web for “literally best taco recipe ever” and the results are generated in .234 seconds.

Furthermore, the modern cooking experience is no longer a solitary function between user and recipe. It’s evolved into an ongoing conversation between the user and digital content, through regular search queries and the sharing of user-generated content on various social channels with other, similarly minded users. There has been a clear shift from cooking + creation to curation + innovation in the kitchen. The contrast between these two cooking experiences is obvious, but what does this mean for brands?

More Opportunities for Authentic Connection

There are more moments for food products to demonstrate their brand and authentically connect with their users. And that is what really matters. But how can brands achieve this connection in the kitchen?

1. Answer All Of Their Questions – There Will Be Many

Iconoculture reported from the results of their 2015 CEB Flavors and Feelings Focus Groups that 75% of Millennials are trying new cooking techniques at home and 64% are cooking unfamiliar dishes at home once a month. That’s a lot of newness. Having your recipes include answers to common questions that arise while cooking will yield a top-of-the-page result when your user inevitably needs to know “How to make taco sauce?”

Keep in mind that these answers should be properly formatted. If you want to know more about how to optimize for search, check out our recent article from Brian Reed, Senior Search Specialist at Peter Mayer.

2. Introduce Functional Foods

The move from creation to innovation calls for CPG brands to get outside the box and to challenge their users to do the same. Iconoculture reported that more so today than ever before, consumers are seeking to feel balanced versus comforted by their meals. The functional food movement is based upon the concept that one can be healthy by adding good things into your diet, instead of just subtracting the bad things. By integrating the functional foods trend into your brand’s content, you can connect with the user by speaking to this relevant need to feel a certain equilibrium after they’ve cleaned their plate.

Zatarain's Recipe Example
Zatarain’s Facebook

3. Move From “Comfort Food” To An Innovative Culinary Experience

It’s not enough to offer up directions on how to use the product with a promise of quality flavor. To genuinely connect and make an impression, brands need to deliver an overall experience. According to Iconoculture’s Beyond Comfort study, consumers are ranking discovery, diversity, and curiosity as key values. In addition to framing your CPG product around these values, make a key component of your strategy to engage the consumer through social media.

4. Put AI On The Menu

Looking forward, brands connecting with Amazon Alexa and Google Home will have a direct line to users while in the kitchen. Imagine a user asks “How to make literally the best tacos?” and Alexa’s response is “First, use [insert your brand here].”

Click here for more Food & Beverage Insights from Peter Mayer.

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