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blog feature 24
Sometimes it’s hard to stand out from the card without thinking a little outside the box…

Food hybrids

While Dominique Ansel was experimenting with different techniques in the kitchen of her New York bakery, she came up with a sort of hybrid between a flaky croissant and the all-American doughnut. A cronut. Little did she know that her creation would be a global hit, spawn countless imitations and send New Yorkers (who are usually a tough crowd to excite) queuing round the block to get their cronut fix at 6am in the morning.

Since Ansel’s cronut craze took off, we’ve had the mount (a mince pie doughnut created by the Lovefood team), the duffin (a cross between a muffin and a doughnut) the Greggsnut (Greggs’ version of the cronut) and the yumdough (a yum yum meets a doughnut). People just can’t seem to get enough of their food hybrids. A word of caution, though: when you’re naming your new creation, make sure nobody else owns the rights to it. The duffin has been at the centre of a copyright spat after Starbucks trademarked the name, but Bea Vo of Bea’s bakery in London claims she created the duffin two years ago.

The world’s most expensive…

Lots of savvy restaurant owners have realised that if they cram a new dish full of ridiculously expensive ingredients, there’s a good chance they’ll make it to the top of the price league table. We’ve had the world’s most expensive cupcake (which is covered in edible gold and has to be guarded by security), the world’s most expensive pizza (topped with shavings of truffle) and the world’s most expensive hot dog (made from sauerkraut braised in Cristal champagne).

If you look at the ingredients list, it’s easy to spot a trend. Super-pricey ingredients like truffles, squid ink, saffron, caviar, wagyu beef and champagne tend to make an appearance. No expense is spared, and the chefs are more than happy to fly in an ingredient from the other side of the world if their recipe calls for it. The trend can also be seen in the mixology world. Club 23 in Melbourne, Australia holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s most expensive cocktail, which costs an eye-popping £8,583. Still struggling to cram enough expensive ingredients in there? If in doubt, throw in some edible gold leaf to send the cost rocketing. Other alternatives could be creating the biggest, tallest or most calorific version of a popular dish you can think of.

Social media

Social media has totally changed the catering industry. These are our favourite stunts which made use of social media:

  • You can still dunk in the dark. When there was a short blackout at the Super Bowl, the clever marketers at Oreo sensed an opportunity and reacted quickly. They simply put out a tweet saying "Power out? No problem" and an accompanying image with the words "You can still dunk in the dark". It was an instant hit and was retweeted 10,000 times in just an hour. Genius.
  • Braille burger buns. Burger chain Wimpy wanted to promote the fact that their menus featured Braille. They could have taken out a radio ad, but instead created a burger bun with various advertising messages spelt out using sesame seeds. They then sent these burgers to 15 blind people, filmed their reactions and let word get out through social media. The video was seen by about 800,000 people — not a bad result.
  • Taco speakeasies. Taco Bell created a huge pre-launch buzz around their new taco by setting up ‘taco speakeasies’ around the country in existing businesses like florists. To get exclusive access to try the new taco, you had to tune in to their social media teasers. By the time it launched, their fans and the food blogging community were clamouring to get their hands on it.

What’s been your favourite food marketing stunt?


Lockhart Catering on 14 November 2013 12:01 AM

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