Food Marketing - The Three Historical Phases of Food Marketing

The Three Historical Phases of Food Marketing

There are three historical phases of food marketing: the fragmentation phase (before 1870–1880), the unification phase (1880–1950), and the segmentation phase (1950 and later). In the fragmentation phase, the United States was divided into numerous geographic fragments because transporting food was expensive, leaving most production, distribution, and selling locally based. In the unification phase, distribution was made possible by railroads, coordination of sales forces was made possible by the telegraph and telephone, and product consistency was made possible by advances in manufacturing. This new distribution system was led by meat processors such as Armour and Swift in midwestern cities and by companies such as Heinz, Quaker Oats, Campbell Soup, and Coca-Cola, which sold their brands nationally. Advertising in print media and direct marketing through demonstrations at stores and public venues were among the prime marketing tools. The initial Crisco campaign, in 1911, was an example. In the segmentation phase (1950 and later) radio, television and internet advertising made it possible for a wider range of competing products to focus on different benefits and images and thus appeal to different demographic and psychographic markets. Distribution via the new national road system strengthened national brands.

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