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The B2B Content Creation Masterclass

Posted By Squaredot, Tuesday 3 July 2018

squaredot b2b content creation masterclass

As a B2B marketer, you know you need to promote your brand in the best light, in front of the right people, at the right time, with the right message to ensure a steady stream of ongoing quality leads and loyal customer retention. To achieve this you need to get serious about your content marketing.

Squaredot have created this B2B Content Creation Masterclass ebook to guide you through the steps you need to take to create content that delivers qualified leads.

 

Read ebook

 

About Squaredot

Squaredot are an Irish B2B digital agency. We generate demand by connecting brands with the modern B2B buyer. Squaredot use research and data to create targeted marketing collateral, combined with award winning design and copywriting to craft engaging content that converts attention into leads. Squaredot’s services include research, strategy, persona development, content production design and promotion.

www.squaredot.eu

 

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Snack bars innovation: what’s now and what’s next

Posted By Mintel, Wednesday 13 June 2018
Updated: Tuesday 12 June 2018

The snack bar category in recent years has catered for many different eating occasions. These range from indulgent and comforting snacks to functional, portable and healthy nutrition products, with many blurred variants in between. And as consumers develop a more holistic approach to health, natural, vegan and free-from formulations have continued to grow in popularity.

Vegan pea protein in the spotlight

As the buzz around plant-based diets grows, protein bar brands need to cater to a wider range of dietary preferences. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental and health imperatives that support diets high in plant-based foods. This has particularly impacted the snack bar category, with global launches of vegan snack bars doubling over the past five years, from 11% of all snack bar launches in 2013 to 20% in 2017, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database. Leading markets for launches of vegan snack bars are predominantly in Europe, notably Germany, where a staggering 43% of snack bars launched in 2017 were vegan. However, soy protein (the leading source of plant protein) is considered a divisive ingredient. Often genetically modified, it’s avoided by as many as 17% of UK consumers. As a result, snack bar brands will increasingly need to review how to formulate products that are both vegan-friendly and clean label. Pea protein is emerging as a hero alternative to soy, with brands now visibly calling out the use of pea protein on packaging.

 

PaPicante Mediterranean Pea Protein Bar with Tomato, Basil and Pine Nuts, Germany

Presence of 'pea protein crisps' given prominence on front of pack in this savoury snack bar from Germany.


 

 

inSpiral Visionary Products Organic Banana Go-Go Protein Clusters with Live Cultures, UK

The plant-based, gluten-free raw product is said to provide one portion of five recommended fruits and vegetables a day. It contains banana rolled in cashew nuts, crunchy buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, almonds, figs, pea and rice protein, and one billion of bacteria each pack.

 

 

Anything goes: New launches continue to redefine the snack bar

Snack bar formats have evolved and brands are looking beyond bars to provide consumers with portion control, shareability and fun. Demonstrating what an established option this format has become, balls and bites accounted for 7% of all global snack bar launches over 2017, more than doubling over the past three years. 

Savoury flavours have emerged in traditionally sweet categories over the past few years. Salty versions of sweet flavours, such as salted caramel or 'sweet and salty' popcorn, have become mainstream, overshadowing overly sweet flavours and possibly enabling greater consumption. Launches of 'sweet and salty' snack bars tripled over the three years to 2017. Moving further along the sweet-savoury continuum, the snack bar category has also seen launches of fruit and vegetable combinations.

 

Lubs Pepper & Spinach with Chilli Veggie Bar, Germany

An organic vegetable bar with red pepper, spinach and cayenne pepper. This vegan product is free from gluten and added sugar.


 MaXsport Raw Juicer Beetroot and Currant Bar, Germany

Mixing vegetables and fruit, this vegan snack is high in fibre and contains no added sugar.

 

 

Meal replacement snack bars aren’t just for dieters

Time is a precious commodity and consumers are hungry for products that help them streamline every moment of their lives. Meal replacement products allow to deal with the time-consuming tasks of meal-planning, food shopping and eating more efficiently. While some consumers receive enormous pleasure from their eating experiences, not everyone is a foodie, and some are too busy to be foodies all the time.

Snack bars are experimenting with non-traditional ingredients including cheese, meat, eggs and even insects, and this trend shows no sign of abating. Dairy ingredients and yogurt brands have been appearing in the snack bar category as brands look to offer consumers a more convenient way to snack on dairy products. 

 

Clio Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bar Enrobed in Chocolate, USA

A unique new snack bar that offers yogurt consumers true on-the-go snacking convenience. Made from pressed Greek yogurt and enrobed in chocolate, these bars need to be refrigerated, but can be consumed with just one hand and no spoon.


 

 

Salad Shots Bar Choco Balsamic Snack Bar, USA

This natural product is said to combine the goodness of a salad with the convenience of a bar, and is infused with superfoods and antioxidants. It’s made with dark chocolate, cranberries, goji berries, chia seeds, kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, almonds, walnuts and pecans.

 

 You Beef Bar with Apple and Banana, Switzerland

This low fat, high in protein bar is described as a dried beef preparation made from meat pieces with apples, bananas and honey.

 

Cathedral City Lighter Mature Cheese Snack Bar, UK

This 30g bar targets consumers who enjoy snacking on cheese, but are looking for a convenient format for on-the-go snacking.

 

 

Smooth-textured layers add healthy indulgence to snack bars

Snack bar brands are embracing nut butters, the spread-turned-snack food that has experienced growth in popularity over the past year. However, textural variety is not something that has been well explored yet, with only a few brands keeping the nut butter as a separate textural element, rather than mixing it into the bar itself. By doing so, for instance through sandwiched layers or fillings, they go beyond flavour and use soft, creamy textures to add appetite appeal.

 

Kashi GoLean Plant Power Honey Pecan Baklava Plant Powered Bars, USA

Playing with textures, this bar has a smooth honey, cashew and sunflower seed butter layer on top of crunchy nuts, seeds and chewy wholegrains.


 

 

 

Broderick's Crunchy Slam Dunk Peanut Chunk Bar, Ireland

This Belgian chocolate and rice crispies bar is covered with a layer of smooth peanut butter bar and chocolate.

 

 


About Mintel

Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. For over 40 years, Mintel's expert analysis of the highest quality data and market research has directly impacted on client success. With offices in London, Chicago, Belfast, Düsseldorf, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Munich, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand.

For more information on Mintel, please visit www.mintel.com. Follow Mintel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mintelnews or join the Mintel LinkedIn community: www.linkedin.com/company/mintel.

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Irish B2B Digital Marketing Survey 2018

Posted By The Marketing Institute and Squaredot, Wednesday 6 June 2018

B2B Digital Marketing Survey

The Marketing Institute and Irish B2B digital agency Squaredot have partnered to bring you the B2B Digital Marketing Survey, which sheds light on the state of B2B Digital Marketing in Ireland.

We thank everyone who took part and we are delighted to share the key findings of the survey.

 

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Looking to develop your skillset? Try talent stacking

Posted By Steven Roberts, Head of Marketing at Griffith College , Wednesday 6 June 2018
Updated: Tuesday 5 June 2018

talent stacking

We’re often told there is one way of excelling in our careers – a focused approach on developing expertise in a particular subject area. Over time, this benefits from the compound effect. Step by step we gradually improve, to the point where a form of mastery is achieved in our chosen subject.

This makes sense. We all know of the surgeon, the legal expert, the sportsperson or musician who has achieved an eminent career by taking such an approach. 
However, there is another route marketers can take, which can be equally productive – combining or ‘stacking’ a range of talents in a unique way.

Author, cartoonist and entrepreneur Scott Adams talks about the benefits of talent stacking in his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.

He argues persuasively that by combining a range of complementary skills together, you can develop a unique professional skillset. In his case, business nous via an MBA, good drawing and communication skills, amongst others. He readily admits that he is standout at none of these, but within the top 20% for each.

The idea of a talent stack is that you can combine ordinary skills until you have enough of the right kind to be extraordinary. Scott Adams

The key here is complementarity – for example, for marketers it could be matching strategic skills with a deep understanding of branding. Combining consumer behaviour and psychology with advertising, or melding aspects of data, technology and digital marketing.

The World Economic Forum states that the ‘ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements, job content and the aggregate effect on employment is increasingly critical for businesses, governments and individuals’.

In an economy where jobs are emerging and becoming obsolete with increasing rapidity, having a range of skills and talents provides flexibility. The opportunity to move from one complementary area to another. To switch between sectors.

Knowledge workers… will have to learn to stay young and mentally alive during a fifty-year working life. Peter Drucker.

This approach has links with the synthesizing mind, popularised by Howard Gardner and others. Here you take skillsets in diverse areas and provide value through the novel and unique insights this offers. 

Robert Greene, in his book Mastery, argues that the key to success is to build knowledge and skills and combine them in an interesting way. To be an expert generalist allows you to make connections that your peers will miss due to a siloed view of the world.

Beatles guitarist George Harrison was a master at combining aspects of the guitar in a unique way. Having first built a comprehensive knowledge of current guitar styles through The Beatles’ early years as a cover band, his explorations lead him to the sitar. The instrument, then relatively unknown in western music, provided standout elements in tracks such as Norwegian Wood. Not content to stop there, Harrison learned to master slide guitar, a sound that would eventually become his signature on classics such as Something and My Sweet Lord.

Stepping back from these dizzying heights, how can we build a similar approach into our own careers? 

There are a few key steps to take. Firstly, look at your core competencies. Are there complementary areas you could develop knowledge in? Are there aspects where you have moderate knowledge, but with an investment of time could develop and broaden these skills to provide added value?

Next, set a list of goals and identify the top three priorities within these. Then clearly map out a plan and process that will allow you to chip away at them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Personal development coaches such as Brian Tracy, Pat Divilly and others suggest identifying a portion of each day which you set aside just for this purpose, be it the 2% rule or the golden hour. The core purpose is to give you time for the deep work and focus required to build your skillset effectively.

If you haven’t already started, the next best time to begin is right now. Use the compound effect, take daily steps towards your goals. You’ll be surprised at just how effective this approach can be.


About the author

Steven Roberts is head of marketing for Griffith College and a certified data protection officer. Steven has over 15 years’ experience working in management, senior marketing and strategy roles in the education, heritage and tourism sectors.

 

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Juices, smoothies and nectars: trends and innovation

Posted By Mintel, Tuesday 22 May 2018

What are the trends driving juices and smoothies innovation? Here, Julia Buech, Mintel’s Global Food & Drink Analyst, takes a look at how brands can keep up with consumers’ ever-changing preferences and demands.

Clean label builds momentum

Mintel's 2018 food and drink Trend ‘Full Disclosure’ describes how today's consumers require complete and total transparency from companies about production processes and ingredients. The growing focus on clean labels extends to demand for more transparency around ingredients, including a clear breakdown on labels between naturally occurring fruit sugars and added sugars.

As consumers increasingly question the quality of their food, they are attracted by the perceived higher nutritional value of 'cold-pressed' juices. Indeed, interest in natural, minimally processed and nutrient-dense products is fuelling innovation around cold-pressed juices which are designed to provide consumers with the benefits of raw ingredients. 51% of Italian consumers aged 16-24 claim to have drunk cold-pressed fruit juice/smoothies, followed by 44% of Polish and 34% of Spanish consumers of the same age.

Looking at innovation, the global share of cold-pressed juice introductions in total launches tripled over the course of three years, reaching 6% in the 12 months leading to November 2017. 

Consumers seek transparency about sugars

Sugar remains a key concern for the juice and juice drink category. Upcoming new regulations in the US mean consumers will begin to see the amount of added sugar in products listed on the nutritional fact panel. The new label could have a significant impact on the 'clean label' appeal of 100% juice versus juice drinks, as it is likely to be perceived as more natural. While 100% fruit juice is also exempt from the upcoming soft drinks sugar levy in the UK, there is still a need for brands to be clearer on labelling, with six in 10 UK consumers finding the terminology used around sugars in juice/juice drinks confusing.

Rise of snack drinks

With consumers increasingly looking to fit in meals around their hectic lifestyles, innovation is focusing on the development of convenient, yet nutrient-rich offerings. Moreover, as described in the Mintel Trend ‘Power to the Plants’, aspirations for healthier and cleaner lifestyles are motivating consumers to include more vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains into their diets. As a result, the market is witnessing the rise of a new generation of smoothies which draw on plant-based, protein-rich food ingredients in order to upgrade to 'healthy snack' status. Demand for juice drinks with high-protein plant ingredients is driven by the younger generation and almost a third of 16-24 year old consumers in Spain and Italy, and a quarter in Germany show interest in such concepts. 

Seeds are the star ingredients in innovation

Nutrient-dense 'superfood' ingredients such as seeds, grains and nuts help transform a regular juice or smoothie into a more filling, naturally functional snack. Beyond health and flavour, such ingredients lend juice drinks an interesting texture. As described in Mintel's 2018 food and drink Trend ‘New Sensations’, texture is the latest tool to engage consumers' senses and deliver share-worthy experiences. Seeds in particular have stepped into the limelight in recent years, celebrated as nutritional powerhouses that are rich in protein and healthy fats. Chia seeds have been shining as front-label "star ingredients" in new launches in Europe, while basil seeds are the most common types used in South East Asia, where they are commonly used for thickening and health purposes. 

Snack drinks boost plant protein factor with non-dairy milk

The current focus on plant-based protein has also opened the ground for innovation around smoothies enriched with non-dairy milk alternatives. This has seen a strong rise in popularity over the past few years, fuelled by a combination of health, ethical and taste reasons. While still niche, non-dairy milks – in particular coconut milk - have made their way into the smoothie sector, tapping into the plant-based protein trend while also adding to the richness of flavour. 

Shot-sized health-boosting juice launches take off

Consumers are increasingly interested in naturally-functional food and drinks. Tapping into this trend, health-promoting juice shots provide a quick, natural boost of nutrition in small to-go bottles. Using concentrated doses of fruits, vegetables, plant extracts and herbs, juice shots are designed as a preventive measure to boost consumers’ overall wellbeing, but can also address specific health issues. These include boosting energy levels, supporting the immune system and digestive health, curing hangovers and relieving flu symptoms. Often combined with lemon juice, ginger is by far the leading ingredient in juice shot innovation. Dubbed a ‘wonder plant’, ginger has found its way into the diets of health-conscious individuals around the world, as it reportedly helps relieve pain and muscle soreness, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system.



Woolworths Food Freshly Pressed 100% Nectarine Juice, South Africa: This juice is made using locally grown nectarines, which are pressed to capture their flavour in a bottle, with nothing else added. It was available only for a limited-time during nectarine season, highlighting the freshness of the product.

 


Friya Rose Blossom & Sour Cherry Superfood Drink with Basil Seeds, Germany:

Basil seeds have been traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and are now starting to get noticed in the West. This rose blossom and sour cherry drink with basil seeds is claimed to curb appetite and is recommended to be enjoyed ice cold.


 

 

James White, Organic Xtra Intense & Hot Ginger Shot with Chill, Denmark:

This ‘wake-me-up’ shot with pressed organic ginger and apple juice has a chili kick that makes it extra hot, for a quick energy boost.


 

 

Coldpress Cold Pressed Very Berry Almond Drink, UK:

Nuts are still under-represented as ingredients in snack drinks, with brands just starting to explore a wider range of types. This vegetarian product comprises almond, banana, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, elderberry and pear and is a natural source of vitamins C and E and antioxidants.

 

 

 Rossmann Mamas Babydream Nursing Juice with Red Fruits, Germany:

Targeting pregnant and nursing mothers, this juice is formulated with folic acid for womb growth, iron for normal blood formation, and iodine for hormone production and thyroid function.


 

 

President's Choice Raspberry Blueberry Smoothie, Canada:

A blend of fruit purées, concentrated fruit juices, and quinoa powder. Quinoa has become the go-to ancient grain for modern snack juice brands, but opportunities exist to include other on-trend ancient grains including amaranth, teff, sorghum, spelt and buckwheat. 


 

 

Yumberry Re:Me Organic Yumberry Fermented Drink, China:

Made with organic yumberry juice, the product claims to contain 20 amino acids, is very low in sugar, and is free from additives. Yeast is added during production, and the juice is then allowed to ferment, boasting many digestive health benefits.

 

 

 

Miel Nàtura Honey and Tulsi Drink, India:

This Indian health drink is made with natural Myanmar honey, hand picked from the deep forests of North Myanmar, and blended with the juice of the natural Tulsi plant. Tulsi is known for its health benefits and has strong antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.


 

 

Luli Tonix Black Magic Charcoal Lemonade, US:

Not your traditional lemonade - it contains water, organic lemon juice and peel, activated charcoal, organic maple syrup and Himalayan salt. 


 

 

 

Beauty & Go Skin Brilliance Bioactive Beauty Drink, UK:

This beauty drink is a skin-protecting multivitamin fruit juice enriched with antioxidants, collagen and hyaluronic acid, and sweetened with stevia. It is rich in vitamin C which contributes to normal collagen formation and protects cells from oxidative stress. 

 

 


About Mintel

Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. For over 40 years, Mintel's expert analysis of the highest quality data and market research has directly impacted on client success. With offices in London, Chicago, Belfast, Düsseldorf, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Munich, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand.

For more information on Mintel, please visit www.mintel.com. Follow Mintel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mintelnews or join the Mintel LinkedIn community: www.linkedin.com/company/mintel.

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