What Marketers Can Learn from Consumer Food Brands

Published on Dec 2nd, 2015

by Jack Weinstein

Oreo unlocked the secret to Instagram engagement in November with the top 11 consumer food and grocery posts by highlighting the holiday season.

It’s not as if the venerable creme-filled cookie came out of nowhere; Oreo is the second most-engaged consumer food and grocery brand this year behind Ben & Jerry’s. But Oreo’s engagement spiked in November driven by holiday-related posts.

Oreo generated 120% more engagement on Instagram in November compared with the same time last year, capturing more than 376,000 total actions (likes and comments). With the exception of the wildly successful Cookies vs. Creme campaign in February 2013, November marked Oreo’s most-engaged month on Instagram.

Its top November post and third-most engaged post of the year included a mint cocoa recipe to “warm up your holiday.”

Of Oreo’s top 11 Instagram posts, six included references to the holidays or the upcoming winter season. And not every post was a recipe.

One post noted that pumpkins were better centerpieces than Oreos . Another suggested stocking up on Oreos by using a tagline from one of the most popular shows on TV . And a holiday-themed video included #wonderfilled , an ongoing campaign that has generated a lot of audience interaction for Oreo.

Ben & Jerry’s, which has the next 11 most-engaged consumer food and grocery posts on Instagram, also celebrated the holidays. It’s top November post didn’t even include ice cream, which helped to prove that aesthetics generate engagement. The post also featured user-generated content .

Other consumer food and grocery brands are finding success with holiday-related posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Johnsonville Kitchens had the second-most engaged post on Facebook in November among consumer food and grocery brands. It posted a recipe to update the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing. It wasn’t a video recipe (which have become wildly successful this year) , but the post generated the second most engagement of any Johnsonville post this year with more than 103,000 total actions (likes, comments and shares).

La Lechera , Jif and McCormick Spice also generated significant Facebook engagement in November with holiday-themed recipes.

The La Lechera recipe capitalized on the seasonal popularity of pumpkin-spiced products. And like Johnsonville, the Jif and McCormick recipes put a new spin on traditional thanksgiving favorites pumpkin pie and stuffing.

On Twitter, one of the most engaged tweets among consumer food and grocery brands invoked Drake’s Hotline Bling with astounding success. Butterball generated more than 2,800 actions (likes and retweets) with its tweet about it’s hotline staffed by experts who answer Turkey-related questions every holiday season.

Butterball capitalized on the success of the Hotline Bling video, which debuted in October. The tweet was by far Butterball’s most engaged of the year. It generated 2,500% more actions than the brand’s next most-engaged tweet.

Holiday recipes were also engaging consumer food and grocery audiences on Twitter.

Jell-O’s caramel apple crisp squares was its second-most engaged post of the year. Philadelphia’s cheesecake and Chobani’s pumpkin walnut bread also scored high engagement marks for the brands, again by transforming traditional holiday fare or leveraging the popularity of pumpkin products this time of year.

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