Media Headlines vs Home Kitchens

Reading this article on Slate, around the drastic difference between the Foodie population we read about constantly and the average American kitchen really hit home for me. Working in the insight game as a marketer is a constant balancing act between ensuring you are aware of and riding the trend waves as they roll through the market, while at the same time always trying to keep an eye on reality. And the two are more often than not, very different.

I get that writing repeated articles outlining how the mass market is, well, doing the same ol’ things wouldn’t sell a lot of subscriptions. However, often that’s the case. From paleo to gluten free to organic to whatever, the number of folks actually doing many of these things with any discipline is usually somewhere around the size of the population of Rhode Island*. Meanwhile, as the article points out, a top recipe on Allrecipes for the last 15 years is called “World’s Best Lasagna” and was created by a “Dallas dad who describes his heritage as ‘entirely Anglo-Saxon'”. Not guessing its very international, artisan, clean or certainly paleo.

To me this rings the clearest bell around the true challenge of communicating with consumers and shoppers today, and that’s balancing aspiration and reality. Do people really want to see themselves in your campaign, or who they wish they were? And is that different in a magazine than on the shelf in a store?

* Source: Hyperbole, 2016