Seven Essential Questions for Your Food & Bev Website


In my presentation for The Food Institute webinar, I shared a framework on how food and beverage brands can maximize their online presence and drive growth across channels.

A core component of this strategy is ensuring the brand's website adds value for the customer. Whether or not the brand sells online, their website is a platform to engage, inform, and connect with their customers.

Seven Questions

If you're working in food and bev, here are seven essential questions your brand's website should answer:

1) Product USPs: "What makes this product unique?"

It seems like every day, there's a new brand entering the space, claiming to be the best. While customers may be on the lookout for a new favorite, navigating the options is arduous.

Your website should clearly articulate the unique selling propositions that make your product stand out, distinguishing what makes it special compared to others. Is it the innovative blend of flavors, the health benefits, or the meticulous craft behind its creation? Highlight how your product not only meets the standard but sets a new one.

2) Ingredient 101: "How do you source ingredients?"

Customers are increasingly mindful of what they consume. The story of how and where you source your ingredients can be as compelling as the flavors themselves.

Customers are not just asking "What's in this product?" but "What makes it healthier and better for me?" Address these questions head-on. If your ingredients are safer, your sourcing more ethical, or your nutritional profile more beneficial, these details are not mere facts - they are the narrative that elevates your product from a commodity to a lifestyle choice.

Use your website to reassure customers about the quality and safety of the ingredients, giving them confidence in the choices they make for themselves and their loved ones.

3) Recipes: "Looks delicious, but what do I do with it?"

Despite how straightforward you might think your product usage is, there are always creative ways to spice it up and inspire customers. A seltzer may make the perfect cocktail, a cookie dough the perfect brownie.

Your website should provide innovative recipes and usage ideas that show the versatility of your products. Encourage and feature user-generated content to celebrate how customers enjoy your products, encourage repeat buying, and inspire a community of like-minded food explorers.

4) Store Locator: "Can I buy this at my local grocery store?"

When it comes to food and beverage, customers aren't always willing to wait for a delivery. Or maybe they can't—they have a dinner party coming up, or are craving a treat.

Your website should cater to this need with a store locator that's easy to use and up-to-date, providing a fast solution for those last-minute purchases. Whether they first found your product through Amazon or word-of-mouth, customers will appreciate a straightforward way to find out where they can buy your products locally - especially when time is of the essence.

5) Customer Reviews: "They seem healthier, but do they taste any good?"

Flavor is king in the food industry. Potential customers are looking for confirmation that your product taste as good as it looks when they can't confirm themselves. What better way to guide them to hear from those who have tried it?

Including customer reviews on your website provides authenticity and can sway those who are undecided. If you gather details from customers, like food allergy or dietary preferences, these insights will be that much more helpful to future customers.

6) Brand Storytelling: "I've never heard of this brand, are they legit?"

Your website should go beyond your products and take your customer's on a journey through your origin story. New customers might stumble upon your products and wonder about your credibility.

In a choice between a familiar brand and a newcomer, your story can be the deciding factor. Whether your packaging caught their eye or they're intrigued by your product's features, your brand story can turn curiosity into confidence and, ultimately, loyalty.

Your website is your chance to share your origin, mission, and values, and to highlight all that's brought you to today.

7) Product Finder: "They offer a lot of options, which is right for me?"

Help customers navigate through your product range with a product finder feature. It’s an engaging way to guide them to the ideal product that suits their needs, whether it’s based on flavor preference, dietary restrictions, or intended use.

The product finder is more than a utility; it's a personalized shopping experience. By helping customers pinpoint exactly what they need, you're not just selling them a product; you're providing an experience that adds value by making their choices easier.

The way I see it...

Imagine a customer standing in the grocery aisle, debating between the comfort of a familiar brand and the intrigue of yours. They Google your brand and end up scrolling through your website.

Their decision rests on your ability to make an impact and add value. A website that fails to answer their lingering questions may leave them reluctant to break from habit. But a comprehensive digital presence can be the gentle nudge they need to take a chance with you.


This post originally appeared in #70 of The E-Commerce Corner. Subscribe here.

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