I’ve been thinking about marketing a lot lately.  Marketing as part of business of course, but as The Kitchen Director I am hardwired to transpose everything back and forth from business to the kitchen, and back again.  There is a lot of marketing that happens around the kitchen and food.  Often this is done with a power struggle involved, or, a sense of resignation.  Some examples of kitchen marketing rise up during talks about “picky eaters”, as well as preferred snacks and treats, and the timing of these.  As the adult and child engage in this conversation, the marketing begins. Although not always easy, kitchen marketing doesn’t have to be so painful.

Specifically I’ve been wondering about how to convince an older child to change the way they eat for their own health. Whether this means adding a nasty tasting supplement to their daily intake, or completely changing the diet.  The changes are to support a health issue understood by the adult but not easily adopted by the child.  The health issues I’ve been looking at the most recently are gluten related, iron deficiency and Autism. To be clear, an older child is one who is able to get or take their own food from the kitchen.

Asking someone, even a youngster, to make changes is a tough “sell”.  Marketing is often used as a negative term to encompass a variety of ways to make us buy something we don’t want or need. For good business, and good kitchen directors, marketing must not be that.  The child needs to be their own kitchen director too!

Excellent marketing means standing in the shoes of your client/audience and having an honest look at the situation from their perspective.  Changing the way we eat is a very emotional event, and is not often done lightly.  It affects social situations, so for children this can be especially challenging when they want to be accepted and “normal”.

Excellent marketing means being clear about your own objectives.  What are you trying to achieve?  Teaching your child about the importance of food? Of nutrition? Personal health? Responsibility?  The list and priorities will depend on each family.  Through respect and education good marketing means finding an honest bridge between the two parties.  This must happen carefully, with lots of time and patience. Once a bridge is understood, and only then, can you make a plan together.  I’ll cover that in the next blog.

Effective marketing within families, around food and meals sets everyone on a course of better mealtimes and more joie de vivre!

Very curious about your own kitchen marketing expertise and experiences.

Bon appetit!

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