Often the way PR is approached will depend on the sector. We wanted to explore this further so have created a new feature to highlight how PRs in different sectors feel about their roles
This month’s PR Sector Focus is all about food and drink. A sector we’re all familiar with as consumers, but what do PRs working in the industry think?
We spoke to four PR professionals in the food and drink sector to find out what it’s like.
What is your favourite part of working in the food and drink industry?
“I believe the food and drink sector is one of the most exciting industries to work in. Food and drink expenditure is increasing along with the cultural rise of eating out and recreational activities. All eyes are on this sector as modern technologies and evolving consumer expectations mean that foodservice marketing strategies and practices are becoming more disruptive and innovative. I wanted to be at the fore of this trend by helping sector leaders and challengers take on more creative strategies and approaches to how consumers interact with their brands.” – Cat Jennings
“Working with fine dining menus is incredible – some of the dishes are created with such finesse and precision it almost becomes a work of art. I enjoy working with food photographers to capture the essence of the dish, bringing out the colours and composition perfectly. I also enjoy working with other foodies! There’s always more to learn, whether that’s kitchen secrets from a pastry chef or tips from the gardeners that care for the produce.” – Beckie Andrews
|Recent requests from journalists looking for food and drink expertise using our Journalist Enquiry Service include:
- Regional British cheeses
- Afternoon tea at home
- Asian inspired brunches in London
- Food and drink personality sought for video channel
- Products for preserving and pickling food and jam making
- Healthy recipes
- Summer cocktails and serving equipment
- Expert in consumer food purchasing trends
What are the big trends in food and drink and the moment?
Automated Nation – Restaurants and hotels are streamlining operations and automating service to provide convenience and efficiency to consumers.
Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle – Food waste is a growing problem in the UK and beyond and operators are tackling the issue with a varied approach.
Fundamentally Global – A new wave of global cuisines and rituals are emerging in Britain, fuelled by consumer curiosity and greater exposure to international foods and flavours, such as Filipino, Korean and Ethiopian.
The Experience Dichotomy – Driven by a sense of exploration or simply FOMO (fear of missing out), Brits today are on the hunt for new experiences.
– Cat Jennings
Stripped Back & Pared Down – Clean labels and ingredients we know and can pronounce.
Food & Packaging Sustainability – Locally produced and small producers. Traceability of ingredients, knowing your footprint, recycling and using waste.
DIY – Doing it yourself, home cooking from the extravagant to the easy.
Social & food/drink bloggers – Instagramming dishes, recommending via social media and ordering food and drink via apps or online.
– Jane Whittles
Avocados – Anything with avocado is set to do well from recipes to popups to weird creations.
Super healthy or big treat food – Two opposite extremes. From low calories recipes and easy healthy everyday meals to unicorn frappucinos, the latest chocolate creations or weird and wonderful pizza toppings.
– Charlotte Woods
‘Ginnovation’ – A huge increase in gin sales. Consumers are looking for artisan and locally sourced spirits from independent distilleries. Also more gin cocktails.
Plot To Plate – Guests are more interested in what they consume, creating greater demand for home-grown ingredients. We have developed an ‘Edible Garden’ so guests can see how the ingredients they are about to eat are grown and harvested.
Craft Expertise – Consumers are shopping local, looking for independent brands and suppliers – from farm shops that supply fresh vegetables, meat and bread to special events such as Ale Trails and Gin Festivals where they can meet with local suppliers and makers.
– Beckie Andrews
Wynyard Hall – Edible Garden
Wynyard Hall – Blueberry Mojito Cocktail
|Some of the 150 food and drink specific search terms from our Media Contacts Database in May include:
- Street food
- Food manufacturing
- Kitchen gadget
- Healthy eating
- London food
- Summer food
What is your favourite food and drink topic?
“It’s so vogue at the moment, but I do love gin! Opihr Oriental Spiced is my favourite tipple. I love cocktails too and learning about which garnishes complement them best to bring out the flavours. We grow herbs in the Edible Garden, it’s exciting to see them selected, harvested and popped straight into a cocktail.” – Beckie Andrews
“New product launches – it feels like you have exclusive information that you’ve been looking forward to sharing for months and you can finally share it. I also enjoy adding creativity to stories around calendar National Days.” – Charlotte Woods
|Some recent food and drink forward features on our Media Contacts Database include:
- Christmas food & parties
- Healthy snacks
- Family-friendly restaurants
- Port and brandy
- Free-from foods
- Winter warmer recipes
- Healthy spices
- Wedding cakes
- Fine dining venues
- Meet the chef
What is your must-read for food and drink features and news?
“The Grocer is great for new product launches – usually before they’re released to consumer media. Great Taste Awards and Good Housekeeping Awards are also good to follow to see the if there’s any themes running through the products that win awards” – Charlotte Woods
“I read Mintel quite a lot, it provides market intelligence and trend reports and highlights the latest in food and drink innovation. I also look at Visit Britain’s travel and tourism reports to keep up to date with changes in consumer behaviour.” – Beckie Andrews
|Our Media Contacts Database includes key food and drink media outlets such as:
- Television programs such as Food Network UK
- Consumer magazines such as BBC Good Food
- Trade magazines such as The Grocer
- Radio programs as The Food Programme
- Consumer websites such as Great British Chefs
- Trade websites such as Beverage Daily
- Blogs such as Katie Cakes
- YouTube programs such as Craft Beer Channel