The term superfood is one most people are familiar with, yet some may be uncertain of its meaning and clarifying this is essential to cementing their customer appeal, says Camille Allcroft
Supplying recipe ideas in-store is a great marketing tool to showcase the versatility of superfoods; providing customers with ideas for dishes to make is more interesting than presenting an uninspiring shelf of produce. Many quick meals and snacks can be made with superfoods (think juices, smoothies, superfood salads, stews and soups) which is likely to appeal to customers with busy lives, and their high vitamin content makes them instrumental in repelling colds and flu. Furthermore, stocking superfoods will attract a demographic of customers who are interested in health and wellbeing, as well as enticing existing customers to try something new.
The way superfoods are displayed in store is key to how they are perceived by customers; creating eye-catching displays, implementing offers and distributing samples are useful marketing techniques. Setting up a colourful superfood stand with well thought out elements such as blackboards featuring a ‘recipe of the day’ or ‘did you know’ detailing various facts about them is a strategic way of capturing customer attention. Placing the display where it will form a focal point is advisable, as customers are often drawn to what they see when they first walk in to store and it is also helpful to have somebody available to answer questions.
There are plenty of well-established superfoods and some which are growing in popularity; all of which have marketing potential. Some are more familiar than others, Blueberries for example were one of the first to become renowned and they have retained their popularity due to high vitamin C and antioxidant content. The newer trend for Acai Berries is also noteworthy from the retailers point of view, as these are rich in antioxidants, amino acids and fibre and they are linked to having energising properties and aiding cardiovascular health. Greek Yoghurt is packed with probiotics which aid digestive health and boost the immune system and Honey is one of the powerhouses of superfoods due to its versatility and sweetness; it can be used medicinally as an antiseptic or for cold remedies and it contains enzymes which combat bacteria.
Avocado is rich in vitamins and healthy fat and its popularity is increasing; it is tasty served with poached eggs at brunch or made in to a guacamole dip and it leaves skin supple when mashed with honey and warm water for a face mask. Quinoa is gluten free and loaded with protein, amino acids and vitamins which make it the perfect replacement to rice. Kale has so much going for it such as iron, fibre and calcium and it is easy to add to smoothies or cut it in to strips, toss with sea salt and olive oil and bake to make kale chips. Spinach is another superfood worthy of the hype, it contains flavonoids said to contribute to reducing cancer as well as vitamins which fortify the immune system. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant credited with fighting disease and they are easy to promote due to their familiarity and the number of ways they can be served.
Scientists have argued that eggs should be considered a superfood; their low-calorie content, high proportion of Omega 3 fatty acids and protein and the many ways they can be cooked make them the ultimate healthy fast food. Pomegranate has been linked to lowering blood pressure and it contains vitamins A, C and E as well as antioxidants and iron; sprinkle the tangy seeds over a salad or sandwich or add them to porridge. Parsnips roasted with maple syrup is a deliciously healthy seasonal dish and these root vegetables are rich in potassium and fibre. Brussel sprouts are often only served at Christmas, but they are an excellent source of vitamin K and iron and their unmistakeable taste works well with contrasting flavours such as pancetta or Feta cheese. There is also an emerging trend for spirulina, algae which grows naturally, it is packed with protein and antioxidants and noted for boosting the metabolism and aiding heart and muscle health. It is available in powder and capsule form and it is easy to add to juices and smoothies which disguise its bitter taste.
By putting a few simple marketing methods in place, reinventing the image of superfoods and re-educating customers about their benefits is easily achievable for retailers.