The opportunities to share images offered by social media sites and apps like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Facebook create an insatiable demand for new content, and one consistent object of users’ interest is expected to attract even more attention this year — cakes. New decorations and designs will incorporate influences from both modern technology and 80s nostalgia. The holidays are a time of the year where inspiration is most sought after.
“If you look at platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, one of the most popular categories of ‘pins’ is cakes,” says Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director at research firm Canadean, which provides industry analysis on international food and beverage trends. “Cake designs can easily go viral, something that was virtually impossible before social media came onto the scene. Because of this influence, I think you are going to see much more emphasis on high voltage cake decorating and other efforts to take its design up a notch, attempting to generate sales momentum with some help from social media.”
Shawna LeMott, creative marketing manager at Lucks Food Decorating Company, uses the term “high-voltage” to describe the combination of a neon color palette with pop culture references to produce eye-catching innovations. Fortunately, as image-sharing technology has progressed to allow popular cake designs to spread rapidly across the country and the world, advances in cake decorating allow the almost infinite customization that the era of social media demands.
Merchandising for maximum impact
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of appropriate merchandising for these products. Jewelry-style display cases such as the Hillphoenix GMD allow the wide-screen view that these cake creations deserve. And the right lighting is critical.
Research supports the bottom line benefits of complementary lighting and color choice for supermarkets products. Ninety-three percent of consumers place visual appearance and color above other factors when shopping, while 85 percent place color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product.
Sometimes cool tones (white, blue) work best with lighting food products, while other items are enhanced by warmer tones (yellow, orange). The good news is that advances in lighting technology are giving grocers have more choices than ever. LED bulbs with different colors and different color temperatures allow for broad customization.
Whatever platform and lighting option is chosen, know that a picture paints a thousand words and customers will be drawn to that cake that looks the most appealing. Relying on creativity and strategic design will draw customers in, but quality will keep them coming back for more!