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Seven marketing trends for the food sector in 2019


Seven marketing trends for the food sector in 2019


New technology, diet consciousness and environmental concerns are shifting rapidly as we enter 2019. John Saadie advises food retailers on seven key trends to keep in mind going into the new year.

John Saadie 150 BWThe food retail industry is a crowded and demanding market. With pop-ups, chains and boutique restaurants dominating every street corner, marketing has never been more important. Combine this with the changing face of advertising and 2019 is bound to be a year of new marketing trends.

To make sure your food retail business is one step ahead of the game, it’s time to get your head around these trends.


Think local

Consumers are more and more concerned about where their food comes from. This will have a major influence in the way food retailers market themselves. An emphasis on locality is set to become prevalent in the marketing material of 2019.

Food retailers will choose to highlight locally sourced ingredients and locally tailored menu items. This could range from explicitly marketing this focus on locality to naming menu items after locally sourced ingredients (‘Cowra Lamb Burger’ etc).


Voice technology

Recently, one of the biggest changes to the way we shop has been the introduction of home voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Home. This opens up a whole new field of marketing for food retailers.

This emerging technology requires serious thinking and strategising but has huge potential for retailers. There are a few ways to implement this technology into your marketing plan; firstly, you can participate in apps which allow advertising on voice platforms – Spotify and Youtube are two easy examples of this.

Alternatively, you could invest in leveraging directly off this technology. Think about delivery apps or value-adding programs – a cookbook or a game, for example – which you could design to help put your name on Alexa’s lips!

Related: Brain trust: will voice marketing open a well of untapped consumer engagement? »

Apple Homepod closeup voice

Eco friendly

As food retailers market themselves in 2019, they need to keep in mind that consumers are now more environmentally concerned than ever before. From eco-friendly packaging to commitments to reduce food wastage and sustainable delivery methods – all of these efforts should be marketed widely to attract environmentally conscious customers.

Even down to the colour schemes (think green!) that retailers use, marketing should include an awareness of environmental needs. When you make positive changes to your policy in this area, don’t miss out on a marketing opportunity. Recently changed to hybrid delivery vehicles? Tell it to the world!



Health has always been a concern for food retailers, but in 2019 this will shift to be a more specific focus on nutrition and well being. Many food retailers have already jumped on this bandwagon, advertising a feel-good, health conscious message.

In the next year, the need for this kind of marketing will only grow with more Australians paying attention to the effects of food on their well-being. This marketing will steer away from scientific, didactic calorie counting and toward positive affirmations of holistic health. Think carefully about the copywriting which surrounds your brand to ensure your language is on target with this trend.


Content marketing

Already, it is essential for food retailers to invest in high quality content marketing. In 2019, this will become increasingly important as consumers have less patience for blatant advertising and seek value-adding content instead.

More food retailers will begin to think creatively about content marketing – from blogs and podcasts to recipe books –this is an exciting move in the marketing world and a rich area of growth in the food industry.



In 2019, food retailers will (or should!) make better use of geofencing technology. Geofencing is a form of targeted digital marketing which assigns a retailer to a particular geographical area and targets potential clients as they enter this area – most commonly done through apps which allow location tracking. Implementing this on your own app or participating in apps which already utilise geofencing, such as Yelp, is a great move to make in 2019.


Experience based  

As technology continues to take over the food retail industry, it is worth remembering that experiences still attract customers too. In fact, in 2019, marketing will have more of a focus on experience based content. Customers are increasingly looking to combine eating with entertainment and this must affect marketing.

Restaurants and delivery services which create genuinely unique customer experiences – both in person and digital – will flourish. This needs to come across in marketing too, with live videos and Instagram stories offering audiences opportunities to taste the experience of eating.


The food retail industry has shifted majorly in the last few years, as has the art of marketing. From the days of television and radio advertisements to interactive marketing, targeted advertising and content creation – many food retailers have some catching up to do! Embracing emerging technology and keeping a focus on unique experiences combine to create great marketing for any food retailer. By remaining attentive to the particular needs and desires of audiences, food retailers are in prime position to create great marketing.

John Saadie is founder of Order Up!


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Image credit:Katie Smith


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