Why is branding a food product an emotional process? We investigate and assess each and every step.

What are customers looking for?

In the world of marketing and innovation, understanding what consumers truly want goes beyond meeting their basic needs. It involves recognising and fulfilling their emotional desires. When it comes to food, our choices are influenced by more than just flavour, price and portion size; they are connected to our emotions. By tapping into these emotional needs, brands can build customer loyalty, gain a competitive edge, and boost profitability.

What is in your Basket?

When we go shopping for food, what fills our basket goes beyond satisfying functional wants. How we eat, what we eat, and how much we eat are directly linked to our emotional state. Research indicates that brands that establish a strong emotional connection with consumers by understanding their psychological motivations can enjoy increased market share, profitability, and a distinct competitive advantage.

Making Personal Connections

In a crowded marketplace, emotional connection sets brands apart from their competitors. When consumers feel an emotional affinity towards a brand, they are more inclined to choose it over similar products on the shelf. By understanding the underlying emotional motivations of their target audience, brands can develop unique selling propositions that resonate deeply with shoppers. Whether it’s promoting sustainability, social responsibility, or a sense of belonging, aligning with consumers’ values and emotional needs creates a distinct advantage in the market.

Building a Bond

Developing an emotional bond with consumers is essential to encourage loyalty. By understanding their emotional needs, brands can create experiences that resonate with customers on a deeper level. For example, a brand that associates its product with feelings of comfort, nostalgia, or celebration can forge a stronger connection. These emotional associations build trust and make consumers more likely to choose that brand the next time they’re shopping.

The Power of Nostalgia

How many times have you gravitated towards a product because it’s one that you remember from your childhood, even if it is a little bit pricier? Consumers are often willing to pay a premium for products that evoke positive emotions and fulfil their emotional needs. By delivering experiences that go beyond the functional aspects of the product, brands can command higher prices.


So how can you make the emotions of food branding work in your favour?


  • Understand your target audience, their emotional needs, preferences, and aspirations. 
  • Develop a brand story and messaging that resonates with your target audience’s emotions. 
  • Establish a consistent brand identity across all touchpoints, including packaging, advertising, website, and social media. 
  • Consider customisation options, personalised packaging, or limited edition products that evoke exclusivity and make customers feel special.
  • Build a community around your brand by engaging with consumers on social media platforms and through experiential marketing.
  • Associating your brand with social or environmental causes that resonate with your target audience’s emotions can deepen their connection to your brand.
  • Continuously evolve your brand strategy to remain relevant and adapt your messaging and offerings to address shifting emotional needs.

Need Help?

Not sure where to begin? We’ve been helping food brands to create effective and innovative packaging for decades. Get in touch with us today.


Talk to Toast Food

We’ve spent decades helping fledgling companies refine their identity and reach out to customers. If you think we can help you, complete our form or give us a call on 01295 266644.