7 Marketing Takeaways from FNCE 2018
Another FNCE is in the books. This year, our profession traveled to Washington, D.C., where I joined 11,000 of my colleagues in what could be considered the Super Bowl of dietitians. It is 4 long days jam-packed with education opportunities, networking events, brand exposure, and fun. It’s a whirlwind.
During my stay, I participated in a wide variety of activities and events. The conference is the perfect opportunity to get a pulse on emerging nutrition research, food and nutrition trends, new products, and new innovations. Now that I am home and have had a couple of days to reflect on my experiences there, I have identified the food and nutrition marketing related themes that stood out to me.
Consumers Demand Healthy
Health and wellbeing rank high in what drives consumers’ food decisions. Consumers are educated in ingredients, have clearly defined ideas about what is “healthy” and shop accordingly. Gluten free, dairy free, plant-based, and legume filled products filled the EXPO floor.
Snacking is Huge
It seems the days of 3 meals are gone. With a demand for healthy options, snacking has emerged as a method of food exploration. It allows consumers to eat more frequently and experience more flavors and variety. Snacks must be healthy, convenient, and portable.
Technology as a Guide
Americans are spending 6 hours per day on a screen. Technology provides the instant feedback that consumers demand. With the demand for healthy ingredients, technology allows for real-time information that drives decision making about food choices.
Technology provides tools that personalize the delivery of health and wellness. New technologies offer the ability to translate personal preference and individualized health data into nutrition recommendations, meal plans, recipes, and grocery lists. This area is just getting started but the more personalized, the better.
The magic sauce to a well-traveled booth was engagement. The cranberry bog was genius. Each time I walked past it, nutrition professionals were lined up patiently waiting for their turn to wade in it. Another booth nailed it by offering a free headshot. There was even a whole booth that had set up photo ops with poop emojis. Not only did it drive traffic, but it also offered the perfect shareable picture for social media. Genius.
Brands clearly recognize the opportunity to capitalize on 11,000 nutrition professionals all being in one location. Companies are hosting events and experiences to complement the FNCE agenda. Whether an early morning workout, a unique experience, or an evening meal, companies have figured out that this annual event is the perfect time to invest in capturing the attention of nutrition professionals.
Human Connection Reigns King
Nothing beats the annual opportunity to come together and collaborate IN PERSON. Yes, technology advances are exciting and offer fantastic opportunities for our profession, but human connection is still the most powerful form of business development and personal growth. FNCE offers us a chance to come together, learn, grow, and recharge as nutrition experts. I’m already looking forward to Philadelphia in 2019. See you there!