Food For Thought - RMD Blog

Three Ways Brands Can Build Credibility Among Consumers

Three Ways Brands Can Build Credibility Among Consumers

In the age of distraction, how can food brands grab consumer attention with content that amounts to more than click-bait? True, quality content that serves both a real need and solves a real problem is how leading brands continuously stay top-of-mind for shoppers. In turn, they are rewarded with loyalty, which is oftentimes the scarcest of commodities today.

In the end, consumers are looking for products that deliver on their promises … for taste, for nutritional benefits, for philanthropic efforts, for values. Food brands can make an impact by building relationships with their shoppers that capitalize on trust. To do so, finding ways to bring the people behind the brand to the forefront is a necessity. Not only can they help in telling the brand’s story, but they can tell the brand’s story in a more personal, more relevant way.

There are three areas in which co-marketed efforts can help make a true connection with today’s shoppers:

1. Target consumers where they shop.

By partnering with like-minded brands in a co-marketed capacity, whether on social media or in-store, each brand has the unique opportunity to make a larger impact market-by-market and regionally.

Where there is a need to encourage sales, smart brand alliances can intrigue shoppers enough to get them off of their couches and into the grocery store … and back again once their pantry shelves need replenished. Brands that play in different spaces within the industry but share similar values or attributes are in a position to play off of one another, encouraging their already-loyal consumers to expand their culinary horizons.

A lack of trust between shoppers and brands has driven both parties to change the way they interact with each other – shoppers with increasing distrust and brands with a greater push for transparency. If the partnership is finely tuned, consumers can feel well understood – and well cared for by the brands that now share the responsibility of serving their food needs.

2. Target consumers via content-driven strategies.     

Millennial consumers have grown up in an age where content (and exceptional content, at that) is the norm. Remembering your shoppers have a base standard for exceptional content can help keep your perspective aligned with theirs.

RMD Content

With insatiable appetites for content, brand partnerships can fill the gap where content might lag or conversation might tend to fall on deaf ears. Visually engaging photography (whether stunning or raw and real) and captivating copy that says something of value is more likely to capture their interest. As you navigate the co-marketing waters, consider the engaging content you can promote and use it to capitalize on messages that are most critical for both brands to share.

 3. Enlist campaigns and experiential opportunities that break through the clutter.

 Instinctively, food brand marketers strive to engage their shoppers where they’re at. At the point where a brand’s trajectory intersects with a consumer’s life, there is a prime opportunity to make a lasting impact.

According to research reported by Eventbrite, Millennials make up one-third of the U.S. population. This group, falling between the ages of 23-38, make up a huge percentage of event attendee bases. In fact, 75 percent of Millennials say they value experiences over things. Better yet, they are consistently putting their money where their mouths are. Nine out of ten Millennials have attended at least one live event within the past 12 months – significantly up from three years ago (82 percent).

For this reason, experiential opportunities at which brands can participate, join the energy of the event and spend meaningful time with their consumers are a prime strategy for those hoping to build a Love Brand.

RMD can help in creating meaningful relationships between your brand and today’s shoppers… In fact, it’s one of our (many) sweet spots. Let’s hone the power of influence together. Ready? We sure are.

How Strategic Alliances Help Refrigerated & Frozen Food Brands Grab Consumer Attention

How Strategic Alliances Help Refrigerated & Frozen Food Brands Grab Consumer Attention

Refrigerator and Frozen FoodsThe following excerpt is taken from Refrigerator and Frozen Foods magazine, written by Sue Reninger, Managing Partner of RMD Advertising

The landscape of the food industry and how brands and consumers interact has changed drastically. Consider how shoppers are making decisions. Who do they trust? Which marketing campaigns deliver maximum engagement from a distracted generation of shoppers?

Nearly 72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests, according to a report from SmarterHQ, Indianapolis, Ind. This desire for personalization is key for food brands determining how to move forward in capturing the attention of their shoppers. They want to know that the brands they are supporting in the checkout lane understand their wants and needs.  Sue Reninger, RMD Advertising

America’s savvy brands began targeting Millennials back in 2012. That would have put the upper Millennial at the ripe age of 15. Today, the Millennial consumers range from 23-38 years of age. Major lifestyle changes happen within those ages. At 16, female Millennials were preoccupied with lifestyle brands that supported their personal aspirational needs. Today, they have families of their own and focus on filling their family’s meal and snack appetites.

That lifestyle change also means today’s Millennial shopper is considering labels more. The Millennial shopper is buying for varying appetites and brand preferences. Mostly, however, it means they’re level of trust has changed. They trust their friends, family and co-workers more than ever.

The moral of the story—if you’re targeting Millennials the same way you were when your brand first started focusing on them, you may be speaking to an audience that has lost interest. This is where strategic alliances and partnerships can play a critical role within the food industry—when well-orchestrated, co-branded alliances can propel organic word of mouth and do an excellent job of promoting trial.

Read the three areas in which co-marketed efforts can help solve the mystery of trust and personalization on the national Refrigerated and Frozen Foods website.

THINSTERS and ParmCrisps Looks to RMD For Public Relations and Brand Expertise

THINSTERS and ParmCrisps Looks to RMD For Public Relations and Brand Expertise

RMD Advertising, a fully integrated advertising, public relations, social media and brand strategy agency, focusing exclusively on growing challenger food brands, announces the addition of THINSTERS and ParmCrisps to its list of established blue chip food clients. Under the same parent brand, That’s How We Roll, LLC, RMD will help bring both brands increased brand awareness and expanded reach of products. THINSTERS offers a variety of better-for-you cookie thins to satisfy your sweet tooth, while ParmCrisps offers a keto-friendly, 100 percent pure cheese cracker that packs a decadent, savory crunch. Both will lean on RMD’s public relations expertise to help raise awareness and knowledge about the brands.   Thinsters

THINSTERS tout “deliciously crunchy” cookie thins that are Non-GMO, made with better-for-you ingredients and without corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. With flavors like Chocolate Chip, Key Lime Pie, Toasted Coconut and more, each cookie is designed to give consumers a satisfying crunch. ParmCrisps are a keto-friendly, high protein and low carb snack. Coming in a variety of flavors with the latest being Brick-Oven Pizza, all ParmCrisps are 100 percent premium cheese crackers that also offer a satisfying crunch.    ParmCrisp

“These two national brands are on trend, to say the least. We’re thrilled to be a part of the team that takes these well-known brands to the next level,” shares RMD Advertising Managing Partner and Brand Strategist Sue Reninger. “With two different consumers and two completely different snacks and flavor profiles, we’re eager to bring these consumers closer to these brands and the brands to consumers.”

RMD’s ideas address the challenges faced by the agency’s clients with solutions embodying the words smart, creative, sharp, passionate, gratitude and problem solving. Objectively considered one of the strongest brand-oriented challenger food advertising agencies in the country, the RMD team works to find a better way for clients to relate to their audiences from both emotional and intellectual perspectives. In being determined as an agency within the top 20 performing firms by O’Dwyer’s for two years in a row, RMD’s depth of knowledge within the challenger food category, specifically, separates it from the rest and makes it the ideal partner for THINSTERS and ParmCrisps.

O’Dwyer’s Recognizes RMD Among The Best Food Agencies

O’Dwyer’s Recognizes RMD Among The Best Food Agencies

RMD Advertising has been recognized by O’Dwyer’s as one of the top 20 agencies nationwide specializing in food. This acknowledgement demonstrates RMD’s exemplary work within the advertising, public relations, digital and social media worlds, particularly within the food industry. A total of 49 agencies complete the O’Dwyer’s list of top Food & Beverage Public Relations Firms of 2019, ranking those that have demonstrated their expertise in niche marketing within the food industry.  Awards

In being determined as an agency within the top 20 performing firms, RMD’s depth of knowledge within the challenger food category, specifically, separates it from the rest. An accomplished 27-year history and a full roster of blue-chip food clients has marked RMD’s presence as a continuously growing force. The agency is known for serving national food and beverage brands that are category leaders – brands that have carved out a strong niche for themselves and prefer to work with an agency that is as committed to their growth as they are. What differentiates RMD is a compelling promise to documenting tangible results backed by unique expertise that precedes confidence in sales-oriented results.

“RMD has always been focused on quality, smart and highly strategic work. The challenger food category is where we shine,” shares Sue Reninger, Managing Partner, Client Brand Strategist at RMD Advertising. “To be recognized for our integrated work for food and only food for the past 15 years is an honor. We’re proud to be able to work with passionate food brands, who have driven us to continue growing, pushing and making strides within this exciting industry.”

RMD’s ideas address the agency’s clients’ challenges with solutions embodying the words smart, creative, sharp, passionate and problem solving. Objectively considered one of the strongest brand-oriented challenger food advertising agencies, the RMD team works to find a better way for clients to relate to their audiences from both emotional and intellectual perspectives.


RMD Receives Top Grand Award From the American Marketing Association

RMD Receives Top Grand Award From the American Marketing Association

RMD Advertising, an integrated advertising, brand strategy, social media and public relations agency, regarded as the expert in the challenger food brand category, has been recognized with six awards from the American Marketing Association’s annual Achievement In Marketing (AIM) Awards.

The awards won include: Grand AIM Award for Keystone Meats “What’s Your Beef?” Campaign, Platinum and Gold Online Marketing Division for Southern Recipe Small Batch’s Social Media Strategy, Platinum and Gold Integrated Content Marketing for Keystone Meats “What’s Your Beef?” Campaign and Gold Marketing Campaign for Braxton Brewing Co.’s new product Pumpkin Pie Ale. These awards speak to RMD’s imaginative and innovative use of media, social media, content production and online influencers to create successful and influential campaigns through Braxton, Keystone Meats and Southern Recipe Small Batch.     RMD Wins aAMA Award

The AIM Awards recognize leaders and innovators in marketing, communications, graphic design, public relations and advertising throughout Central Ohio. The American Marketing Association, which judges and selects the AIM Awards Winners, is comprised of practitioners, academics and students, who share an interest in networking, learning and serving the community. The awards symbolize excellence in clear, concise communications, and AIM recipients represent marketing professionals, companies, nonprofit associations and institutions local to Columbus.

“What makes Keystone Meats such an amazing marketing challenge is our ongoing need to help America overcome their misnomer about canned meat,” shares Sue Reninger, Managing Partner of RMD Advertising. “But the product has just two ingredients: meat and sea salt. Also, by turning on the “yum” power of the brand, and highlighting how quick and simple the product is, America has fallen in love with this brand. It’s a dream client and a dream marketing challenge for RMD.”

Amidst hundreds of submissions, RMD’s entries for Keystone’s “What’s Your Beef?” campaign was distinguished as the leading entry across all categories. By using humor to offer solutions to common kitchen problems for Americans across the nation, Keystone Meats utilized strategic public relations, social media and marketing tactics to create one of their best campaigns to date.

RMD Advertising’s expertise in the food industry spans more than two and a half decades, contributing to its proficiency and win of this year’s AIM Awards. With a sales driven mindset and the discipline to follow through on each project it adopts, the RMD Advertising team often attracts growing and emerging food brands that are passionate about their future. The proof of the agency’s success is in the way lasting relationships have been built with such brands as Graeter’s Ice Cream, Southern Recipe and Keystone Meats. The agency’s more than 25 years of experience and its expansive industry knowledge continue to cultivate strong relationships with its brands in an ever-competitive industry.

Do Certifications Matter in the Restaurant/Food Service Category?

Do Certifications Matter in the Restaurant/Food Service Category?

Entrepreneurial Chef Magazine authored article by Sue Reninger

By Sue Reninger, Managing Partner and Client Brand Strategist

The food industry is independently unique, and today, consumers are more educated and thinking more critically than ever. In fact, many have begun asking whether the industry and the restaurants it encapsulates are doing their part to maintain the integrity guests so desperately desire.

Are we doing our part to lead guests to better, more healthful and more sustainable choices? Are we offering guests the food from our menus because we truly believe in its inherent good?

To best serve restaurant guests, today’s chefs and their menus need to reflect the restaurant as a brand, but also its mission and values, overall. For many, that means turning to the power of third-party certifications. Top certifications in the food world include, but are not limited to, a handful of the select elite:

USDA Organic: This relevant certification regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced.

Why this certification is important: A 2016 poll from the Pew Research Center found that 55 percent of Americans believe that organic food is healthier than conventional. This is particularly true of organically grown fruits and vegetables. The market reached $43 billion in 2016, and a 2017 survey found that 82 percent of American homes stock organic food.

In considering certified organic ingredients versus foods simply labeled as ‘organic’, consider the fact that a certification requires that farmers and handlers document their processes and get inspected every year. This ultimately allows you to make an educated and informed choice for your restaurant.

Non-GMO Project Verified: The Non-GMO Project is an independent verifier of products made according to best practices for avoiding genetically modified organisms in the U.S. and Canada.

Why this certification is important: A non-GMO market insight report released by Mintel in February 2017 states 34 percent of Baby Boomers and 29 percent of Millennials surveyed avoid genetically modified foods in their diet, which supports the fact that this mindset spans generations. Research demonstrates today’s restaurant guests are actively seeking out non-GMO foods, and the ingredients on your menu can mirror their concern.

 Certified Gluten-Free: The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)is dedicated to providing certification services to producers of gluten-free products using quality assessment and control measures throughout production, in order to provide consumer assurance of the safety of their foods.

Why this certification is important: With rigorous standards ensuring no cross contamination, a Gluten-Free Certification oftentimes means you can cater to a still growing community of foodies. For guests not participating in an exclusively gluten-free diet, your commitment will help them perceive your restaurant as one that is both tolerant of these special dietary needs and inclusive of their friends and family who rely on a gluten-free diet.

 Certified Humane: Administered by independent nonprofit Humane Farm Animal Care, this program ensures that animals raised for dairy, lamb, poultry or beef products are treated humanely and with their welfare in mind.

Why this certification is important: Packaged Facts survey data from February through March 2017 show that 58 percent of U.S. consumers are more concerned about animal welfare than they were just a few years ago. This certification shows them you are listening, and even more, doing your part to support a sustainable food system.

Certified Vegan: Products Certified Vegan speak most prominently to a population of food lovers interested in vegan products. The certification ultimately aims to help vegans shop and eat with confidence. It also helps companies and restaurants recognize a growing vegan market and brings the word Vegan—and the lifestyle it represents—into the mainstream.

Why this certification is important: While your restaurant does not need a certification to wear a vegan label, ensuring the ingredients you use on your menu have integrity behind them is important to restaurant-goers. Show them you align with their values and respect their need for complete transparency.

Above all, the certifications and conversations surrounding food should demonstrate to restaurant leaders the way guests view nutritional information is vastly different from what it once was, and what it will be in the years to come.

In reflecting upon whether your menu should showcase the trends and certifications that have frequently spotted the food industry, consider the restaurant’s authenticity through the guest’s eyes. If your menu no longer speaks to your core guest or aligns with their values, it won’t be long before your brand lags behind your competitive counterparts.

Today, third-party certifications can help affirm your restaurant’s commitment to transparency and authenticity. Furthermore, third-party certifiers can act as strong partners in bringing a menu and dining experience that match what you envision for your brand to reality. For brands especially focused on the up and coming generations of restaurant goers, certifications can help shape your image, convey the values your company stands for and, as a result, build loyalty.

This outward reflection of your restaurant’s internally stated morals is one avenue by which you can show shoppers you are committed to their wellbeing, while still boasting an impressive menu.


Hard Work Pays Off With Two More National Awards!

Hard Work Pays Off With Two More National Awards!

We are honored to win two national Clarion Awards. Awarded by The Association for Women in Communication, this award highlights RMD Advertising’s excellence in campaign marketing. We won for our work on Rudolph Foods’ annual Truck Driver Appreciation Week campaign and NestFresh’s Egg-Cellent Baking Contest.           RMD Award winner

The Clarion Awards symbolize excellence in clear, concise communications. Clarion recipients represent media companies large and small, leading corporations, small businesses, and nonprofit associations and institutions. Started in 1972, the Clarions honor excellence in more than 100 categories across all communications disciplines. Amidst hundreds of submissions, RMD’s entries for Rudolph Foods’ annual Truck Driver Appreciation Week and NestFresh Egg-Cellent Baking Contest campaigns were distinguished as leaders in their respective categories.

“Winning not only one, but two Clarion Awards for our campaign efforts is an honor,” shares Sue Reninger, Managing Partner, Client Brand Strategist at RMD Advertising. “We are so proud to be amongst marketers nationwide who work strategically to help their brands grow. For us, it is all about helping our clients reach a new level of distinction, growth and success.”

Rudolph Foods, the world’s largest manufacturer of pork rinds, works to celebrate Truck Diver Appreciation Week each year – an event partnering with the St. Christopher Truck Driver Relief Fund. To advocate for the all-American egg during National Egg Month in May, NestFresh, one of the most innovative specialty egg products in the nation, hosted a baking recipe contest. These campaign efforts accurately portrayed RMD’s excellence within the industry and led the agency to its Clarion wins.


Two RMD Social Media Clients Shine In National Spotlight

Two RMD Social Media Clients Shine In National Spotlight

Well, color us proud … thank you, Social Media Today for selecting not one but two of our client social media campaigns to spotlight in your article, 37 Inspiring Ideas to Rock Your Facebook Contest.”  We kinda think you rock, too!  To learn more about our social media efforts for Southern Recipe Pork Rinds and Keystone Meats, give us a call … or read on to see all the excitement.Southern Recipe

Keystone Meats

Happening Right Now: Facts Frightening Marketers

Happening Right Now: Facts Frightening Marketers

Marketing can be spooky

We couldn’t resist. With October comes the ghostly opportunity to shine a new light on some frightening food marketing stats. Can these help you to build out a skeleton of a plan for a stronger, better 2018?

You be the judge. But the truth remains: not all food marketing is the same. If your Challenger Food Brand plans to make a bigger splash next year, consider these three powerful thoughts:

Frightening Fact #1: You’re ignoring two highly credible, highly influential consumers.

Challenger food brands can’t ignore Millennials, for sure.  According to Statista 2017, nearly 80 percent of them regularly purchase specialty food brands. But the markets you’re ignoring could be killing your profits.

Gen X consumers (ages 40-51 years old) and Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) also line up for your brand.  In fact, more than 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively, actively purchase and seek out specialty foods.

Frightening Fact #2: It’s not a fad. You’re discounting the growing gluten-free category.

Though the buzz has quieted, it’s interesting to know that the gluten-free marketplace is actually growing. According to Statista, consumers choosing to go gluten free are actually climbing at a steep rate.  In fact, 72 percent of the market for gluten-free consists of consumers who choose the lifestyle as a way of life (up from 56 percent in the previous two-year period.)

Frightening Fact #3: Brick n’ Mortars are battling online shopping.

According to a Bricks Meets Clicks study, Americans who shop for groceries online once per month do an average of 17 percent of their total grocery spending online. That leaves a LOT of room in the budget for traditional grocery brands.  This compares to 21% for those who shop twice online.

Giving Brands the (Re)Boot: Nostalgic Food Brands Connect to the Heart

Giving Brands the (Re)Boot: Nostalgic Food Brands Connect to the Heart

At RMD, we take a great deal of pride in serving Challenger Food and Beverage Brands – and only these brands.  For the past decade, RMD has had the privilege of working with CPG, restaurant and food service brands solely.  From product launches to “reboots”, new brands to nostalgic brands and love brands to brands in crisis.  It’s the category and clients that we love, and that drives us to perform at the levels that we do.

But there’s a special place in our heart for the challenge of “rebooting a brand”.  You know the score, taking a nostalgic brand that was once strong and found in nearly every pantry in America … and giving it new brand awareness, a renewed place in American consumers’ hearts and rebuilding the bottom line along the way.

We love a great challenge. No one out-performs RMD when it comes to the challenger food category.  And no other agency can honestly pledge to never fail (because we simply do not). This is especially important when a nostalgic brand is put back on the table — because one shot is all that’s given.  And that shot needs to stick once again in America’s hearts and minds if it’s to enjoy a second go around as a family love brand.

There will always be something special about bringing consumers closer to those brands again, and bringing the brands back to the dinner table.  To watch a consumer reminisce about their grandparents’ love affair with a product or food — and to watch the sense of smell, sight and touch rekindle that love affair is a marketer’s dream come true.  To walk thru an airport with a branded T-shirt on … and get stopped along the way to hear consumers tell you their love brand stories. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

We’ve been privileged to give this shine back to some of America’s strongest nostalgic love brands over the past few decades:  Popeye Spinach, Veg-All vegetables, Glory Foods, Rudolph Foods pork rinds … and Keystone Meats. Below is some of our favorite work along the way.  Take a walk down memory lane … enjoy!

panera ad glory ad
allens ad Retro Ad
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