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Meal Kit Companies Are Using the Food Picture Industry to Push Better Nutrition

Update Date: Sep 14, 2020 10:53 AM EDT
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Meal Kit Companies Are Using the Food Picture Industry to Push Better Nutrition
(Photo : Meal Kit Companies Are Using the Food Picture Industry to Push Better Nutrition)

The meal-kit industry isn't really all that sexy. A cardboard box shows up at your door, filled with foods wrapped to preserve their freshness. That doesn't translate well into evocative marketing materials or the ability to convey taste or nutrition. Thankfully, the industry is changing gears and has tapped the "food picture" trend to help out. 

What Is the Food Picture Industry?

For most of us, the phrase "food pictures" probably conjures up images of Instagrammers sharing a new dish from a sit-down restaurant, or people on Facebook sharing their culinary endeavors. Those are part of it, but it goes much deeper.

The food picture industry is as old as the concept of food itself. In times when most people could not read or write, butchers and other food-related businesses identified themselves with pictures rather than words on their signs. That trend has continued to this day. You only need to turn on the TV and catch a fast-food restaurant commercial to realize that, particularly when it comes to food, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

Meal kit companies are tapping into that to create compelling marketing materials and advertorials, and to help themselves stand out from the competition. They're also using those food images to help illustrate the nutrition available in their products.

Miss Fresh - An Example

Let's look at Miss Fresh, a Canadian company offering meal kits as one example. A quick visit to the company's website shows us a wide range of image types and styles, but they all have a few things in common, including:

  • Natural Settings - Some of the imagery used on the company's website and within its marketing materials highlight natural settings, like farms bathed in sunlight, and farmers harvesting greens beneath a stunning blue sky. That evokes a direct connection to the natural world in viewers and connotes the idea of fewer (or no additives, better health, and purity).

  • Vibrant Color - While the contents of a meal kit box might not be all that colorful on arrival, wrapped as they are to preserve freshness, the company's marketing imagery uses bold, bright colored food to highlight health, nutrition, and delicious taste. An image including brightly colored salmon, vibrant strawberries, and vivid green onions is just one example.

  • Nutrition in a Box - Another way that meal kit companies are highlighting their difference, as well as the inherent nutrition of their offerings, is to show off the contents of their boxes in a big way. Miss Fresh does this right on their homepage, as well as in various marketing images with a box packed with unwrapped produce, including multicolored cherry tomatoes, delicious corn, sweet potatoes, a vibrant red pepper, greens, and more. It clearly communicates nutrition, freshness, and wholesomeness in a way that prepackaged foods simply fail to achieve.

  • Social Proof - Finally, Miss Fresh (and other meal kit companies) are tapping into the power of social media to show off their products, build groundswell, and provide social proof for new customers. Customer Instagram posts featuring the company's meal kits are highlighted right on the homepage, and most are carefully curated to show balanced meals that include not just protein, but beautiful veggies, pasta, and more.

  • Tying into the Core Premise - Miss Fresh has built a reputation for delicious, nutritious food without a lot of hassle. The company's tagline is "Food, Simplified", and the images used support that in pretty much every way you might imagine. They show off real food, often whole food, packed with nutrients and flavor, without a lot of complications. 

  • Across the Board - High-quality, vibrant food pictures are used not just on prime website pages, but on landing pages, on social media accounts, in emails, and in print advertising, as well.

Selling Taste, Nutrition, and Less Stress

Ultimately, food images promise a lot. The promise good nutrition, healthy foods, fewer additives, and a direct connection with the items on your plate. They also imply direct control over what we're putting in our bodies. Most companies in the restaurant industry cannot claim those things, which is why the food pictures used by meal kit companies differ so dramatically from what you'll find in the rest of the foodservice industry. 

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