Strategy

Marketing Trends & Insights: December 2023



What we’re seeing in the food industry:


Consumers’ tastes are changing, so the industry is following suit.

  • Folks today want both convenience and gourmet.
  • Food and beverage are the fastest growing online retail category with folks craving DTC options.
  • DTC is a great option for brands looking to cut out retailers, increase margins, and innovate.
  • Individual ingredients are now becoming trendy as folks seek to recreate global flavors and chef-inspired food.
  • Social media has a huge source of food inspiration for consumers and a huge assets for brand’s looking to learn about customers’ interests.



People food isn’t the only hot topic right now.

  • Pet food sales are soaring—up 39% from 2019—and overtaking human food products in growth.
  • Other food companies are taking note. General Mills has made a string of acquisitions of pet food and treat businesses in the last couple years, including Blue Buffalo and Tyson Foods’ pet treat company.


Predictions for a cookie-less future are getting clearer.

In January, Google Chrome is shutting off 1% of their cookies as they move to their post-cookie system, Privacy Sandbox.


  • Privacy Sandbox uses a series of APIs to conceal consumers’ personal data.
  • Developers have been testing and adding more advanced advertising features, like new methods of retargeting.
  • To maintain users’ anonymity, retargeted ads will only be served if there are at least 50 consumers eligible to view it.
  • Google is doing a slow rollout, with 1% of cookies being shut off for the first 6 months of 2024 to give advertisers the ability to test Privacy Sandbox in real-world experiments.
  • By the end of 2024, Google will get rid of cookies completely.
  • Adtech partners that have already started testing have reported that everything’s functioning well so far—they can bid and buy, get clicks and conversions.


IP Addresses are off-limits. With cookies now going out the door, using IP addresses as an identifier seemed like the next best strategy to some advertisers. Now it’s back to the drawing board.


  • Google is testing a new feature in Chrome that would hide users’ IP addresses from third-party trackers.
  • Apple began cloaking IP Addresses in Safari and Mail in 2021.
  • Chrome and Safari are the two leading web browsers in the U.S. Chrome has 46% of the market and Safari has 43%.
  • Google’s IP Protection will be available as an opt-in at the beginning and will role out in phases.
  • With this data out of reach, advertisers will have one less tool in their belts to target consumers, control ad frequency, and detect ad fraud.
  • Without cookies and IP address data, many companies will have to rebuild their programmatic advertising strategies.


Meta and TikTok are shifting gears. They're both considering introducing ad-free subscription tiers, which could further disrupt the digital ad market.


  • The main driver for Meta looking into an ad-free subscription is the new EU data privacy regulations.
  • TikTok is currently testing a similar model outside of the U.S.
  • The potential impact of these decisions is unknown and depends on how willing consumers are to pay for data privacy.
  • Meta’s subscription is reportedly going to cost European users €10 per month (which is around $10.50), and TikTok will charge $4.99 per month.
  • 51% of marketing decision-makers for brands and agencies intend to increase their social media advertising investments.
  • Neither platform intends to bring this option to the U.S. for now, but they might in a few months if data from Europe is positive.


Streaming services are strengthening their ad tiers. Disney+ is in the process of adding new features, from advanced audience targeting to expanded measurement capabilities.

  • Disney+’s ad-supported tier is a draw for new customers—last March, they found that 19% of their subscribers use it.
  • The growing audience mixed with bringing in Hulu’s ad-targeting and segmentation capabilities has put them higher on advertisers’ radar.



Disney+ is one fish in a highly competitive stream.

  • Netflix’s ad supported tier has 15 million subscribers, and the company has announced partnerships with Nielsen and EDO to enhance ad measurement.
  • Amazon is also evolving their offerings—they’re improving ad measurement by partnering with VideoAmp and iSpot.



Sources:

Strategic Consulting

Mars Petcare

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Integrated Campaigns

Christie Cookie Co.

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Integrated Campaigns