Study finds social media impacting consumers' relationship with food

Have you checked out FoodProcessing.com on Pinterest yet? If you haven't, you should. Not only is the social networking site popular, it's also part of a growing trend for consumers to look online for guidance on food.

According to CLICKS & CRAVINGS: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture, a research project conducted by the Hartman Group and Publicis Consultants, social media has changed the lifecycle of a meal from inception to consumption. Consumers are no longer confined to the recipes handed down from their family or a cookbook. To today's purchaser, consumption is done visually and electronically through social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as well as on blogs and other food websites. 

The report also notes consumers fall along three different social media engaged types: "Doers," "Dreamers" and "Spectators." 

Why does this matter for food processors? Social media has changed our behavioral landscape as far as food is concerned. Thanks to networking sites, "social media indulges our curiosities and provides an avenue for the safe exploration of new restaurants, cuisines and techniques."

Marketers would do wise to involve themselves in social media channels (if they aren't already) and integrate their posts into their target consumers' periphery. 

You can learn more about the study by visiting http://www.hartman-group.com/pdf/clicks-and-cravings-report-overview-and-order-form-2012.pdf.

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