Baking & Snack - April 2016 - 21

Social Media


Wholesale bakers find big benefits by engaging
with consumers via social media.
by Beth Day


Understanding emerging technology and the way people communicate with one another is more important
than ever before for food manufacturers. New digital
devices provide almost unlimited access to information
about world cuisines and cultures, recipes and trendy
food products.
Interaction with their smartphones and use of social
media reconfigure how consumers eat today and have
shifted food culture, according to the Hartman Group's
Digital Food Life report. Seventy percent of consumers
use digital food resources at least weekly to research different types of cuisines, collect recipes and photos, or
learn how to assemble ingredients and prepare foods.
"There is a robust conversation happening around
food across social channels that creates truly unique opportunities to engage directly with consumers - which
wholesale bakers don't often get to do," said Christine
Cochran, executive director, Grain Foods Foundation
Dave's Killer Bread (DKB), Milwaukie, OR, has fully
embraced the use of social media to cultivate a fan base
of more than 500,000 followers.
"Since the day we started our social channels, Dave's
Killer Bread has drawn a passionate, engaged fan base,"
said Michelle Hunt, vice-president of marketing for the
bakery. "Our talented in-house brand team combines

close engagement with fun, beautiful digital content like
graphics or videos that our fans can use and enjoy."
ACE Bakery, Toronto, has experienced success among
all social media platforms. However, Facebook has
yielded the highest interaction and engagement among
the company's targeted demographic.
"Food has taken over the social media world, and we
are fortunate to be able to partake in this phenomenon.
Everyone loves good food, and thankfully, that's what
ACE is all about," said Sophia Rouleau, the company's
marketing and communications manager.
Knowledge about what people are actually doing with
food and how they share it with their own social media
connections is essential for food manufacturers to be
successful in an increasing digital world.
"While these platforms can be scary for those who
have not engaged, it can also be incredibly rewarding,
giving wholesalers the opportunity to showcase how
their products are made and make their products appeal
to consumers," Ms. Cochran said.

Brands meet consumers online
Consumers collect recipes and food photographs on
their smartphones and tablets, assembled from a multitude of digital sources. One in three cooking enthusiasts
get their recipes from social media, and 77% of Internet / April 2016 Baking & Snack 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - April 2016