Hey Carrots, Say Cheese!

Two weeks ago I gave you a taste of my trip to Wisconsin to tour America’s Dairyland and its famous creameries with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. I promised you I would return to this blog with more interesting facts about Wisconsin’s cheesemakers. And I will—but not today!

One of the reasons I decided to hold off sharing more cheese stories with you is because GHQ is going to be launching a new website soon with improved functionality for posting photos and videos—and I have A LOT of cheese photos.

That got me thinking about the impact photography has on consumers’ shopping and recipe decisions.

Let’s be honest, everyone loves photos. For me, personally, I will not buy a cookbook that does not have images of all the dishes, nor will I take a second look at a website that doesn’t show me what my meal should look like when it is complete. Mind you, it can’t just be any old photo; I want something that looks sexy, mouth-watering and absolutely delicious!

In the discussions I have with manufacturers and retailers each month, recipe tear-offs, QR codes that link to mobile sites and cross-merchandising in-store meal solutions consistently pop up as a key suggestions for boosting sales.

They are great ideas!

But why don’t photos get any love?

Imagine you are a shopper and you wandering passed potatoes, brussel sprouts and carrots. There, on a display in the center of the aisle is a large, beautiful, mouth-watering image of a stew or roast using all the foods right in front of you (plus a few more that will send consumers into the center store departments).

Maybe I’m just a sucker, but I’d be piling those ingredients into my shopping cart before I could wipe the drool from my chin.

With the abundance of cooking magazines on the market—many of which I find myself subscribing to for the photography, knowing all too well that I will likely never get around to making anything from them—people have come to expect top-notch images. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of food blogs with your everyday pictures of foodie’s kitchens and mis-matched tableware.

What it comes down to is that it takes a lot to impress consumers. But when a consumer is impressed, and they have a shopping cart in front of them, their emotions take over and everything you suggest is fair game.

This week is Thanksgiving. For retailers it’s the easiest time of the year for sales: No one is going to skimp on Thanksgiving dinner. The biggest challenge is to keep the displays of potatoes, veggies and fruit for pies (oh my!) stocked.

Its easy, however, to take it a step further. More than ever, shoppers are looking for something new, so give them some new ideas. They will take you up on it…

It just might take a sexy food photo to get their attention first.

Now doesn’t that make you want a slice of Sartori’s BellaVitano Espresso cheese? (And maybe a beer to wash it down?)

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