How to Take Advantage of the Shifting Food Gift Marketplace
Since the advent of the COVID pandemic, we have seen a huge shift in buying patterns. Our sales YTD through September are up 70 percent. Sales in July were five times our normal July sales. Who was buying all those gifts? What were they buying? And, where were these gifts going?
Let’s start with where these gifts were going. As you would expect in a pandemic, many people have been asked to work from home. Numerous companies have jumped on this as an opportunity to send care packages to their remote workers. This created our largest market: work from home gifts. The other market has been gifts for stores and offices that have been re-opening. This market isn’t quite as big, but plenty of companies have identified this chance to make the transition back to the office a little sweeter.
Next, let’s take a look at what these customers were buying. For people working from home, the gifts were generally larger. Here are a few examples:
- Cheese packages with a cutting board
- Coffee cakes
- Snack mix assortments
- Chocolate gifts
- Kitting gifts (adding distributor supplied promotional products to our food gifts). This year has seen a tenfold increase in kitting gifts to create amazing experience gifts!
We have also seen companies sending smaller boxes of trail mix to their employees every week to keep them energized through this rollercoaster of a year. All in all, companies are getting very creative, and food gifting has played a huge part.
Which companies are buying?
- Financial service companies
- Tech and internet companies
- Insurance companies
What do these industries have in common? For the most part, business has been booming in these areas. As people are leaving their home less and less, technology usage has increased tremendously, boosting many companies in that industry to new heights. People have also needed to greatly alter their plans for the year, which in turn creates a need for additional help in areas like financial planning.
Think about your client base. Any companies who have employees who have needed to work from home are great prospects. As we saw before, larger gifts and smaller care packages can both work well to remind employees they are appreciated. All it takes is a simple evaluation of the company’s needs to develop a successful food gift program.
With more and more gifts being shipped to homes across America, it’s valuable to remember that we have over 40 years of experience with individual shipment! We know how to make sure each individual’s gift experience as memorable as it is delicious.
As we have moved into October, we are seeing the traditional orders for holiday gifts. That’s no surprise. Although tradeshows and sales meetings have been canceled, the 4th quarter “holidays” are not being canceled. Many company parties have been canceled and businesses are using those funds to send gourmet gifts to their employees.
In 2019, most of our gifts were sent to be shared in the office, whereas now we are seeing more and more orders with gifts shipping directly to customers or employees. For extra convenience, we have added more than a dozen gifts with single-serve, individually-wrapped treats.
2020 is looking to be a record year for food gift sales. By defining the right blend of gourmet gifts and proper distribution, you will be sure to gain your share of this sweet market!