We know that mobile search by shoppers has exploded in the past year. And nearly all major foodservice operators are buying products online. And even if your organization has strong imagery to drive online consumer sales, it’s equally important to ensure you have the digital assets to meet your distributor partners’ needs as well. So, what’s online is what your consumer will see, and whatever your product looks like in the distributor’s system is what distributors will see. As a supplier, it’s important to ask yourself… what do my products look like to my buyer…and am I providing the right information? Are my images helping or hurting my sales?
Over the last decade (and certainly in the last year), the world of content production has changed drastically. More and more, suppliers have moved from haphazardly collecting images and marketing content to satisfy the basic demands of distributors, to delivering a greater level of descriptions, identifiers and yes, also photos. As technology expands and food outlets shrink, it is important to deliver the type of content that can engage consumers, but also helps generate trust with distributors through completeness and accuracy. While simply providing something may have satisfied compliance needs in the past, those times are long gone. Here are couple of things to think about.
Consider who you are not selling to (hint: Not the end consumer!)
As a brand owner, it’s important to include engaging imagery around your items… Glamour shots of your product being enjoyed by a family at a dining room table, for example, or the latest video ad. This is essential today when selling to the end consumer, but in foodservice, a Chef and Distributor Sales Rep (DSR) have additional, specific information they need to know.
- What does your product do / what is it for?
- What are the important features?
- How does it save time or money in preparation or output?
- How is it different than a competing item?
Here’s an example for a pre-made egg product that’s popular in foodservice
This kind of background information is extremely helpful for busy chef/DSRs who are looking to build out their menus at a high volume.
The right images are critical – and one is not enough!
In addition to knowing about the product they’re purchasing (and what to expect it to look like), foodservice chefs and DSRs also need to know what’s going to show up at the back door, how it can be stored, and what can be done with it. After all, different brands of food items essentially look the same; if a close up shot is all that is presented, it does not give the distributor the ability to understand how the product can be delivered, stored, or prepped.
For great foodservice content, ensure you have answered these four questions:
- What does it look like in the case box?
- What does it look like out of the box?
- What does it look like raw out of the packaging?
- What does it look like in use?
Here’s an example, with a single, simple item… Tortilla chips!
By including these images, it is easy for a chef/DSR to understand what they will receive in back of house, the inner packs, as well as label information, the loose item and final product shots. By enabling this level of detail, suppliers can help their own cause by delivering the full transparency needed for foodservice industry.
If you would like to learn more about how Syndigo’s content programs are specifically designed for Foodservice distributors and suppliers, visit our Foodservice page.