Love your food? Me too.
It’s one of my passions, like writing, which you’d probably expect from a professional writer. But the two don’t often come together in my work as a copywriter, unless you’re working only on food products.
So, I was chuffed to come across this fascinating research by Brian Wansink and Katie Love, picked up by Cornell University in the US here. It’s really reminded me how important good freelance copywriting and thoughtful content can be to perceptions – and sales!
It seems that when you change how a copywriter describes the food, it changes how people perceive what they eat.
Researchers looked at menu items across 30 diners. They made small written adjustments to the descriptions, and the impact was huge. Not just on the taste people experienced but on what people ordered – and what they were willing to pay
Beanz Meanz SALES
In one example, the researchers took a starter called ‘Red Beans and Rice’; and changed its name to ‘Cajun Red Beans and Rice’. There were no other changes to the recipe, dining experience or presentation, just the name. And guess what? Customers said the food was tastier. And it wasn’t just taste. Sales of that starter went up 28%. Those are results any freelance writer would be delighted about – and any client too.
It was just one word. But it worked hard, by the adding something exciting, cultural credentials and a load of other personal perceptions.
“…taste resides not only in our mouths, but our minds play a crucial role in the way that we perceive taste. Our expectations of what a food will taste like can “trick” our taste buds into thinking the food tastes better than it does.” – Food and brand lab at Cornell University
Real, measurable impact
BUT it wasn’t just that they sold more ‘Cajun Red Beans and Rice’ – customers were actually willing to pay more – across all the tests (on various menu items at 30 diners), on average they were willing to pay 12% more. Now, whether you’re a copywriter yourself or you’re looking for a professional writer, that’s some measurable impact we can all get behind.
It’s amazing what a freelance copywriter can do with words isn’t it?
Now, I’m in the mood for a snack…