What is “Better For You” season?:
“Better For You” season is the unofficial Super Bowl for most of the Food & Beverage brands in the Gawronski universe. Q4 is great for “giftable” brands, and usually bulk deals on healthy “self-giftable” products, but Q1 is an isolated, different atmosphere for emerging F&B brands.
The unofficial season begins typically right after New Year’s day, and usually lasts until the end of February. Truthfully, it’s much more than just a play on hopeful, healthier, New Year’s resolutions, although it contributes to the overall behaviors.
- The prior holidays mean travel, sometimes unhealthy eating, and usually all consumer routines and habits are thrown out the window for a month or so.
- The Jan 1st start date is typically when consumers collectively start to reboot their regular habits.
- New Year’s resolutions play a partial factor in luring back in “fringe” consumers who cycled through healthy habits throughout the year (making the overall volume pool temporarily larger).
- This means you not only have more consumers buying healthier for themselves but also for their entire family.
- My favorite, that I think many people forget is, the dog days of winter are in full swing in the NE & Midwest. I am living proof and have experienced this time frame many times in my life. There isn’t as much to do there than there is in the summer.
- Consumers in these parts naturally will have more curiosity and patience (inspiring increased trial, similar to what we saw during COVID).
- They are more likely to cook meals, reinforcing the need for more recipe inspired content.
- The majority of people are back in the office (or hybrid), going to the gym again, and kids are still in the heart of their school years. On-the-go, healthy snacks are a staple in most consumers’ grocery orders during this time period.
Keep in mind, if the country experiences any spikes in the flu, covid, etc. (similar to the past few years), all of the above will only amplify. I also don’t see a brutal economy changing any of this, NOSH put out a study in the late Summer, explaining that most consumers who buy these types of products aren’t willing to sacrifice their health despite less cash in their pockets.
What this means for your paid & organic media strategy?:
- Consumers are trying new diets in unfamiliar territory. Not only should you increase bids on broad diet terms (exp: keto), you need additional education copy & graphics in your listings, content, etc.
- This is also a tremendous time period to activate influencers. They do a great job of educating, and add an extra arm of credibility to your brand.
- Remind consumers why our products abide by the diet they are interested in or just started. You can be a staple in their new routine.
- In short, add some infographics and explainers into the mix and see how it helps.
- The “busy consumers” getting healthy again are trying to eat at home, and eat healthier. But busy means no time to grocery shop, which results in a heavy increase in online grocery orders. Invest in instacart, and other individual retailer platforms your product lives in (Target.com, Kroger, etc.)
- On Instacart PPC, you have the opportunity to capture sales on broad terms; let’s use “Chicken” as an example. If you are an emerging chicken brand, you have the opportunity to appear first before a Tyson, Perdue, etc. If your packaging, listing, brand store, etc. look more credible/trendier, you will literally be stealing sales from the larger/corporate brands and possibly gaining new loyal customers.
- The same applies to Amazon PPC, users are searching broad terms in categories they are entirely familiar with. For example a consumer searching for “keto friendly cookies”, will have little recognition of the brand names, and could be easily convinced with the right materials and pricing to try it.
- Curiosity will increase, give that curiosity an incentive with some minor discounts on DTC & Amazon. This is an obvious one and similar to many of our holiday tactics.
- And although DTC platforms have been bashed the past year or so, we are seeing a major uptick in Q4 and are encouraging brands to reactivate paid social for Q1 as well. It’s a great tool to cold prospect consumers looking to get healthy and seeking ideas.
- Post more frequently organically, as you might have some past consumers rebooting diets and habits that got lost from the past few years or even months. They might check out your page to see what you’ve been up to.
In short, most brands reading this should invest heaviest during Q1. Buying behaviors are elevated for your type of product. If you are a “better for you” brand and interested in activating campaigns for Q1, now is the time to start planning.
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