With popular snack food holidays, such as Tailgating season, Halloween and even Back to School, quickly approaching, it’s imperative that brands know how to reach a very valuable consumer: party hosts. In many cases, the host of the party purchases snack food for the event, but guests also frequently bring snacks to a celebration. Here are 5 hints for marketers that want to get their snack food on the party menu:
- Identify Your Party Host – Women plan the majority of celebrations. For events like back to school and tailgating, many of these women tend to be moms as well. As party hosts, they choose the theme, send invitations, buy decorations, coordinate favors, do the shopping, and of course, plan the menu. Keep this audience in mind as you plan your marketing campaigns.
- Understand Party Planning Schedules – Great celebrations that are well thought out are usually planned in 4–6 weeks. Hosts research many of their decisions and purchases in advance. The date and venue for the event are the first steps in the planning process, followed by invitations. Then hosts move on to the details like decorations, favors and menu planning. A survey by Punchbowl®found that 63% of hosts buy party snacks the week of the event and 21% buy them the day before the event.
- Show Off Your Brand – Remember, it’s critical to provide real value to hosts during the planning process. A common question that hosts have is, “How do I make that great recipe?” Many times, hosts will have had a snack at a previous party and want to recreate it at their own. General Mills’ ChexMix, for example, offers their Muddy Buddies recipe online and on select boxes. This recipe is not only easy to make but is a tasty treat for guests at a party. By having easy DIY recipes on party snacks packaging, you show the host that your brand understands her problems and can help address them.
- Reach Out to Guests – Each party has only one or two hosts, but many guests. Depending on the event type, every host will send 30–40 invitations (holiday celebrations and sports events often see much larger guest lists). Just think, how many times have you brought chips and salsa, or your favorite dip to a party? This audience presents a huge opportunity for snack marketers.
- Allow for Guest Feedback – Guests provide a substantial marketing opportunity for brands. You can leverage party guests to improve the experience for everyone. One way for party snack brands to include guests in the party planning is to allow the host to easily poll guests to determine which snacks are their favorites.
Focus on the upcoming seasons and holidays that are important to your brand, craft a related messaged, and make targeted efforts to reach the consumers that will be buying party snacks in large volume: hosts and their guests. If you’re looking for more tips to reach the $38 billion celebrations industry, download the party snacks white paper.
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