Today’s consumers have a long list of demands for the food brands they consume and one of the most important is Authenticity. If a food brand is found lacking in this essential ingredient of its branding, it will be hard to convince anyone to purchase, let alone become a fan or advocate. One of the primary ways of creating real authenticity is by leveraging local ingredients for authentic branding.
In this global market, how do we define local ingredients?
In the UK there are no official guidelines as to what ‘local’ is but generally, people presume that local means that the food is produced within the same town, county or region. Unlike differentiators such as Organic, sourcing locally isn’t as restricted or bound by specific guidelines, meaning the benefits can be much broader and openly interpreted. Benefits can be inferred from supporting local suppliers, reduced carbon footprint to freshness and seasonal benefits.
Including these locally sourced ingredients can help establish a greater personal connection with the consumer and this can be emphasised through branding. Having the consumer not only identify with you but feel an affinity with your product can seriously impact the effectiveness of your branding.
Crafting an Authentic Brand Identity
Any brand should start with the process of defining its brand values and mission if these values include the use and promotion of locally sourced ingredients you are already on the path of creating an authentic brand that reflects more than just the product.
So how does Incorporating local ingredients reflect authenticity?
Over the last decade, we have seen a clear move away from mass-produced ingredients on mega-farms that focused on quantity over quality and sometimes ethics. The push for more ethical and authentic farming practices has seen a rise in the championing of ‘wonky’ food, food that isn’t ‘Instagram-pretty’ but is just as nutritious & healthy. Many foods have historically been neglected because they didn’t look great and are seeing a resurgence as irregular, wonky or odd-coloured produce is seen as more authentic for their trouble.
Some of these authentic products may have had a local following, like certain species of apple that are unique to a valley or county or honey that reflects the local flora. One of the most obvious is Jersey New Potatoes, known across the UK for their taste and texture. Any food product or ingredient that already has its authenticity will only improve and enhance your food brand.
Showcasing Local Ingredients in Products
As mentioned earlier, Incorporating local ingredients in recipes and formulations instantly builds authenticity into your brand and a fundamental level. If the local ingredients have a profile that already exists within a given audience based on a unique flavour or other qualities that differentiate it from others, this distinction will be instantly applied to any product made with it. A great example is the Cotswold Gold Rapeseed Oil, known both locally and across the UK for its quality and unique taste, it has been chosen to be the base for roasting oils created by Ross & Ross, a luxury food gift company.
Marketing and Promotion
The authenticity of the local ingredients that you use in your product should be a significant part of any marketing and promotion activity you do. Along with the traditional forms of marketing, it makes sense to utilise the power of social media platforms to showcase local ingredients. Social Media has an insatiable appetite for food-based content, especially food featuring local ingredients, so demand is always high for fresh photos, videos or recipes.
So, if you use a locally recognised ingredient in your food product ensure that everything your brand does, from the ground up, maximises this uniqueness in your marketing and promotion. The authenticity that this will bring to your brand is invaluable and should be a fundamental element of your audience engagement.
If you need help in ensuring that your brand is as authentic as it can be then get in touch with us and we would be more than happy to discuss how we could help.