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The Art & Science Of Appetite Appeal

Jamie Allebach
Jamie Allebach Chief Executive & Creative Officer

Have you ever noticed that when you see those Red Lobster commercials, that all of the sudden, you’re craving seafood? Or when you see that thick juicy steak and hear the sizzle, why you’re heading to Longhorn for dinner? You may fight off that feeling once or twice, but you will eventually give in—it’s the art and science of appetite appeal.

As food and beverage marketers, we should all know how critical appetite appeal is for brand success. But how many times have you heard these words slip past your lips: “I don’t have the budget for new photography” or, “I can’t afford that level of quality for TV or video production.” Or worse yet, “can’t we just get away with royalty free?” I’d suggest that once is too many times.

Look folks, we’re selling food and beverage here! If we can’t entice consumers with their senses, we might as well pack it in.

There are places to cut your budget, but appetite appeal isn’t one of them. Your packaging, TV and video, radio, and POS all need to have that high level of appetite appeal that compels consumers on an emotional level.

Appetite appeal has two fundamental principles: Science and Art.

Appetite appeal has two fundamental principles: Science and Art.

The Science:
The metabolic need to eat is naturally built into us for our survival. We need nutrients to fuel our bodies. Our bodies are equipped with senses that create our cravings and desire for food, what we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch.

Powerful mood-altering brain chemicals called neurotransmitters activate these senses, which ultimately drives consumers to eat—most of the time purchasing what they believe will satisfy them. It’s science.

The Art: Unlike the science behind your appetite, the emotional aspect of eating is artistic. We eat with our eyes, ears, and imagination, long before we actually taste anything. The artistry of your brand has to draw consumers in with what they see, hear and experience. It has to paint a picture or tell a story that creates that desire, craving, or hunger for your brand. Food, just flat-out, makes us feel better. It satisfies.

Art is emotional. It has to move people. And like great art, creating appetite appeal takes time, talent and treasure—but it’s well worth the investment for your brand.

So, when it comes to the art and science of appetite appeal, invest in the best for your packaging, POS, and advertising. If you’re not, one of your competitors most likely is and will win the minds and hearts of consumers.

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