New research released by News Corp Australia has revealed the emotional connections Australians have with the food they eat, highlighting a series of fresh insights for brands and marketers.
Commissioned by News Corp Australia and undertaken in partnership with strategic research agencies The Lab Strategy and Nature, the landmark ‘Emotional Connection Series – Food’ provides a blueprint for marketers to effectively engage with diverse groups of food consumers through a generational and cultural lens.
The study reveals that only 35 per cent of consumers feel their culture or heritage is adequately represented by the nation’s food brands despite 91 per cent of Australians experiencing positive emotions towards food as a category.
Two thirds of Australians are pursuing new food experiences and proactively learning about different types of food; and traditionally brand-loyal consumers are shifting with one-third actively trialling new brands and products.
News Corp Australia’s managing director, food and travel Fiona Nilsson said the study sought to help the company’s clients understand Australians’ love of food by focusing on their emotional connections with it, representing a significant opportunity for marketers to capture new audiences.
“Food plays an important and connective role in all of our lives. This research looks at how food impacts us emotionally and how that creates opportunity for brands to be at the centre of the rich and complex relationship we have with what we eat.
“We’ve all seen it – the sudden sourdough experiments, kitchen gadget crazes, meal delivery mania and social media teeming with trends.”
Nilsson said Covid-19 had led to food becoming an even more integral factor in how we entertain, connect and make new discoveries in our daily lives.
“Mindsets around food have shifted, and brands need to adapt the way they talk about it. Right now Australians have an incredible range of narratives anchoring them to very strong emotions toward what they eat and how they eat it. This study can help marketers land messages that resonate the right way.
“The research itself is important, but we want to develop useful insights for our clients to take immediate action and drive real results. We are already implementing these insights in food content and marketing strategies across our business. Now is the time to tap into the incredible emotional tapestry our nation shares with food.”
The research was unveiled at the company’s Emotional Connection Series – Food virtual event which was presented by News Corp Australia’s general manager, Growth Intelligence Centre, Dan Krigstein and The Lab Strategy executive director Elaine Dubost.
Krigstein said: “The pandemic has fundamentally destabilised the ecology of food. We see Australians really leaning in and there is an opportunity for brands to do a much better job of engaging the emotional and cultural narratives that they are looking for in the brands that they pick and choose.”
The speakers were complemented with a panel discussion on how to tap into key mindsets to drive business outcomes, featuring News Corp Australia’s editorial director of mass food, Brodee Cooke and editorial director of premium food and travel Kerrie McCallum; along with award-winning pastry chef Anna Polyviou, and American Express vice president of brand, charge cards and member experience Naysla Edwards.
The ‘Emotional Connection Series – Food’ is the second of a five part series to deliver a landmark multi-year research program; unpacking the underlying deep connections consumers have with lifestyle categories including Food, Travel and Health & Wellbeing.