Pinning the German Food Market

Food and content marketing have from the very early days of content marketing been close related (remember Guide Michelin). The transition from cookbooks to blogs and shareable content lies in creating such good content that people can’t help but talk about it and share it.

In for some cooking to night? Getting inspiration for a feast has never been easier. With food blogs, pins and boards on Pintrest and recipe sites flooding the Internet won’t leave you without an appetite. Even if you’re the bohemian owner of an empty fridge, full of “useless” leftover ingredients, there are plenty of solutions for you out there.

Food and the proximity to human basic needs no matter what culture they derive from or in which hemisphere they live in, covers an angle of our unconditional primary reinforcers. Celebrating food is THE common denominator for all humans and finds its very own place in the traditions of our cultures. It is a feast in which we come together and share. As much as we tend to share this experience with other on a table, we also cultivate to share our daily nutritious intake in the social buzz feeds we actively feed everyday. Ever caught you taking pictures of the meal to come? Well the behaviour in sharing the fulfillment of our basic needs is not a phenomenon of our time – it is a behaviour directed to gain closeness with others and engage in something we all share and reflect upon.

Choose to disagree? Food unlike other unconditional reinforcers, such as sex, is a basic need we can’t survive without (no sex would of course lead to the extinction of mankind but let’s keep it easy here). Nevertheless, there seems to be a performative dimension in “Food Porn” content that somewhat is linked to sex. Richard Magee argues that food, when removed from the kitchen, becomes divorced from its nutritive or taste qualities and enters a realm where surface appearance is all-important. Sex pornography and food pornography both address “the most basic human needs and functions, idealizing and degrading them at the same time”.

These circumstances have effectively been capitalized by the food and FMCG industry, creating an overflow of food-sites, blog posts and solutions to whatever prospect customers might need when it comes to nutrition and cooking. All in line with what an accurate content marketing strategy should entail, especially when following the dictum; Knowing what clients want, think, and need, then folding it into a branding and content strategy. Combing this strategy with the frayed maxim “Sex sells”, transforms captivating food content into vehicles of engagement.

However, a set up with mouth-watering pictures of food creations combined with an incomprehensible ingredient list and a neglected UXD, are some of the worst mistakes that still happen out there. Under circumstances like these, cooking becomes something for the eye alone, leaving the cravings of that particular food into the pinnings of Pintrests realm of fantasy.

Providing better customer experience is essential to content marketing and certainly isn’t something German food-content has considered much upon. Bearing in mind what the food revolution has achieved in Anglo-Saxon countries in the past decades, it is intriguing to see the approach German speaking countries has had in this area. Sure, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay have their regular airtime on German TV (with some awkward synchronization), and although the food sector in Austria and Germany has become more diverse and attempted towards customers, the Food Porn industry hasn’t even departed here yet.

Searching for an ingredient or a recipe on the German Google, will unfortunately lead to a site where terms such as Responsive Design, User Interface or Information Design, haven’t been given much attention. And this ain’t sexy! What is even more intriguing about this German phenomenon, is that none of the major FMCG vendors seem to take this inspiring, engaging and entertaining marketing tool seriously. It’s about time to discover Pintrest and Instagram , and what pinnings and #hashtags can do in building an audience.

A miss is as good as a mile and nothing comes from nothing. True, but what happened to the common denominator? I thought food appealed to the whole mankind or does the Food Porn format simply not work in these cultures? For all of us that have lived in Germany and Austria (Switzerland as usual an exempt), the food culture here is more than sausages and beer. And it needs to be mentioned – people in these areas are outfitted with a great portion of humour – so there is no excuse why this trend isn’t happening. A reason for this development could be the uncanny approach these cultures tend to have, especially the rooted establishment such as the industry, to captivate and embrace emerging phenomena. Unlike to other parts of the western hemisphere, Germany and Austria don’t share the same stats when it comes to Twitter and other social media apps. Instagram has after a long trial period finally started to gain some acceptance in Germany and is growing steadily along picture compelling apps such as Pintrest. The German speaking area might be a late starter, but if you’re into this, there is definitely a potential of growth – especially when you consider that German still is the largest mother tongue spoken in Europe, or does the number 100 million impress you more? Remember – entertainment brings engagement! Manage this and my German “Ich” will crave for whatever you offer…

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