Food for thought

9 tips for writing lip-smackingly good sales and marketing copy for the food industry

food copywriting

From farm to fork, I’ve written a lot of copy for the food industry.  My food clients cover the spectrum from growing and manufacturing to retail and restaurants and whilst the businesses and products may be diverse I employed some common techniques to sell the business of food.

If you are tasked with writing the next brochure, menu or website for your food company, here are some of my 9 top tips to get those creative juices flowing.

1.     Appeal to the senses

Food writing should be a winning formula.  You are writing about something that evokes a strong reaction in us. We love food, we need food, we fantasise about food. Use this to your advantage by conjuring up mouth-watering words about your product that make the copy leap off the page.   See my examples for this Mexican fish farm, Cirios, and Hampshire ice cream creator, Dylan’s.

2.     Appeal to your niche

Does your food appeal to a niche market such as health/fitness/wholesomeness?  Use that in your writing.  For example, health and wellness: make it clear how your product can help achieve a healthy lifestyle.  (See my examples for water supplier Waterlogic and nutritionist the Nutrition Coach). Do you pride yourself on your wholesome approach to production? Tell everyone about it – like Langmead Herbs, a family business with a proud heritage, or Cirios, a sustainable fish farm.

3.     Educate the reader

Do you care about more than the final bite? It can be important to educate the reader about how or why you can help.  What’s the science, research or rigorous process behind what you do?  (Read here about Langmead Farms and the Nutrition Coach).

4.     Fascinating facts and figures

Facts and figures can be compelling and provide plenty of human interest to your story.  For example, how many wholesome ingredients go into your recipe, how many people consumed your food last year?

5.     Focus on the benefits

Don’t focus on the product, think about the impact on the customer.  This is as much true in the images you use as the words. For example, in the case of watercooler supplier Waterlogic, we talked about health benefits and showed images of happy children refreshed and invigorated by a cup of sparkling water from their school cooler.

6.     Credibility, credibility, credibility

Credibility comes not just from taste but from food hygiene certification, the background of the staff/chef, accreditations and reviews, and your robust manufacturing process.  Be sure to share them with your customers.

7.     Tasty testimonials

Nothing sells your food better than someone else talking about it.  Testimonials should be simple to obtain – and evocative in their language.  Use them in your copy wherever you can.

8.     Great scope for a Day in the Life

If you have a blog on your website and need some ideas for content, the food industry lends itself perfectly to a Day in the Life feature.  Lift the lid on what your chef or farmer gets up to on a normal working day and the pride they take in your product.  See my example here at Langmead Farms.

9.     The bottom line

But copywriting for the food or restaurant industry is also about not getting carried away with flavoursome fluffiness because there will always be a commercial bottom line.  What is the point of the piece you’re writing? Are you trying to sell more ice-creams, persuade retailers to stock your product or convince investors that your revolutionary manufacturing process will streamline costs? Keep on track and be sure to make your message clear among all that deliciously detailed writing!

And of course, if you lack the flair or time to write about your food business, call in the expert food copywriters at Editing Edge.  We can work wonders with the driest of ingredients.