News Corp Australia’s director of food Fiona Nilsson today released findings from The Food, Mood and Media Connection – a multi-disciplinary landmark study exploring the intrinsic relationship between food, emotion and media today.
Conducted by market research agency The Leading Edge and the first study of its kind in this country, the research uncovers the emotions that underpin the consumer food journey and defines how, through the use of media, it is both happiness and motivation driving consumers to positive action.
Nilsson said: “Australians are more engaged with food than ever and the overriding feeling they have toward food is one of happiness. As with most journeys however there are highs and lows along the way and as consumers navigate the five stage food process of initially being inspired, then to plan, shop, cook and share their experience, they experience negative emotions which prevent them from moving on to another stage.
“By identifying these emotional roadblocks with this study, we could then measure the impact of media in overcoming them. At every stage the study showed that media had a positive impact and acted as a strong motivation multiplier. Crucially we were then able to define not only which media but also what kind of content and messaging consumers were most responsive to at each stage.
“While intuitively it feels wrong to assume that food journeys are linear, the fact that they are interconnected has never been proven. We set out to investigate this and discovered that people are actually on multiple food journeys at the same time and that who you are absolutely makes a difference. From millennials to mums we are able to understand how their food journeys differ, the emotions they are experiencing, and how responsive they are to media along the way.”
- Overall, the study reinforced previous Food Corp studies that identify food as being a huge driver of happiness and joy – with one in two Australians describing themselves as a foodie. However, while happiness is incredibly important it is not enough to drive action alone. Motivation is the overriding emotion driving consumers through the food journey.
- When people go to act in the food journey a number of emotional roadblocks appear that need to be overcome to move on to the next stage. By identifying these roadblocks the impact of media in overcoming them can be measured.
- At every single stage of the food journey media has a positive impact and acts as a strong motivation multiplier. In particular during the inspiration and planning stages where 67% and 61% use media, with websites faring well throughout. The study defines not only which media but also what kind of content and messaging consumers are most responsive to at each stage, which helps overcome the emotional roadblocks and drives action.
- The food consumer journey has always been considered linear however the study reveals that it is in fact interconnected, with only 5% of people following the traditional cycle. People are on multiple journeys at the same time with most people thinking about at least two future meals and one in 10 planning four or more.
- Who the consumer is makes a big difference – and how they move through the interconnected food journey varies significantly based on demographic with the biggest disparity between millennials versus busy mums and men versus women.
The study uncovers how their food journeys differ, the emotions they experience and how responsive they are to media along the way:
- Unlike busy mums who plan first, Millennials are driven by the latest on trend ingredients and shop before they plan;
- Millennials are the most responsive to celebrity chefs and are twice as likely to say that celebrity chefs are more influential to their cooking than food bloggers;
- And when measuring emotional balance, men are drawn to indulgence, while women react well to entertainment matched with functionality.
In line with the research, Food Corp is launching two commercial offerings.
Aisle Watch is a new mobile-led brand storytelling and consumer advocacy platform using a unique templated and made-for-mobile video format. Amplified across the entire News network and powered by the unified News DNA consumer sampling panel of 100,000 members.
The Food Corp Talent Network, which will launch in early 2018. From the biggest names in food media including Matt Preston, Matt Moran and Maggie Beer, to a vast list of industry experts from butchers to bakers and baristas to beekeepers, the new talent network will have the ability to match brands to the right talent for Food Corp campaigns.