More than 95% of Food brands are available online on Amazon, Target, and Walmart. While these e-commerce platforms present a major sales opportunity for food brands, they also introduce stiff competition, opening the door to independent brands and allowing them to compete against established, legacy brands for the first time. Here are a few key trends observed in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food:

The video race is on: Food brands are heavily investing in video. The brands in L2’s study earned 1.6 billion views across Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram during the study period, 93% of which were backed by paid ad spend. Index brands can improve their video strategies by taking inspiration from third-party media companies such as Tasty, whose videos tend to rack up over 10 million views each.

Private label poses a growing threat: Major retailers with established brick-and-mortar stores are pushing their private label brands at the expense of Index brands. For example, Kroger ClickList and Whole Foods Delivery heavily promote their private label products, each owning about a third of SKUs in category navigation. Brands should combat the private label threat by taking advantage of digital merchandising opportunities such as sponsored banners and featured products in both category navigation and search.

Brands are warming up to e-tailer handoff:  47% of brands now incorporate e-commerce handoff on their brand sites, up from 35% in 2015. However, only 46% of brands feature reviews on product pages, just 45% offer on-site video content, and a mere 4% include user-generated content – all of which are necessary to push consumers down the path to purchase.

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