Saturday, December 13, 2008

Home Entertaining

One trend that is definitely here to stay is home entertaining. It started back at 9/11 when folks just wanted to stay home and be with their families. It has since expanded to more of a home entertaining trend. People are no longer just nesting with their closest family members, they are enjoying hosting friends and extended family members in their homes. And whether is family game night, a formal sit down meal with neighbors or a gathering of the boys for a Sunday football game, you know there will be food and drinks there. (Americans rarely get together without sharing food!) Now this poses an interesting dilemma for most people. People love hosting other people in their homes, there needs to be food and drinks to share with guests, but most people have plain gotten out of the habit of cooking (unless you count microwavable meals and popcorn or course!) and don't know how to put together a spread for their guests to enjoy.

Luckily for us, for ever consumer dilemma there is an awesome opportunity for someone to come in with a solution. For this particular dilemma the opportunity goes to branded food products to come in and save the day by providing super simple semi-homemade recipes, tips and tricks. Now if make those recipes and ideas seasonally relevant you have really created something of value for consumers! Let me give you an example. Suppose you make slice and bake sugar cookie dough. This holiday season you could feature a recipe for Stain Glass Sugar Cookie Ornaments. (So super simple - use the premade sugar cookie dough and hard candies to make the stain glass cookies. While the cookies are still warm use a straw to make a hole at top then just add some ribbon and your consumers have created something they can proudly call their own at their next holiday party!) Let me give you another example. Suppose you make salsa. Why not wish everyone a Feliz Navidad with a simple microwave queso dip recipe? The recipe could be a simple as your branded salsa, a melting cheese and a can of chopped little green chilies melted together in the microwave safe bowl!

It is really easy to do but is does take just a little planning a head of the season to come up with recipes and appetizing photos you want to feature. So think ahead - what is the next season people might want to enjoy a dish made with your product - Superbowl, Easter dinner, 4th of July picnic....the possiblities are endless! Then decide how are you going to communicate your fabulous recipe idea - on pack, website, POS materials, etc? Just make sure you get your recipe ideas out there - consumers are hungry for easy entertaining ideas!

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