Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 199 of 207

(continued from p. 40) INTERACTIVE DIGITAL MARKETING food critic and Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl. The site is part of Gilt Groupe, a members-only, first-come, first-served e-commerce site for discounted designer label fashions and one-of-a-kind travel packages. Gilt Taste, however, moves away from the discount and couponing models. Gilt Taste markets itself as a digital magazine-catalog hybrid that publishes original, daily stories on handpicked specialty food items. There is no membership requirement (except to register with a valid email address) or fee, nor will users find limited-time offers, save the occasional special pricing. "Gilt Taste is making a statement to prove that it can move into the standard e-commerce model," says Scott Norton, co-founder of Kensington & Sons' Sir Kensington's Gourmet Scooping Ketchup. The product had its debut on Gilt Taste as part of a Father's Day promotional gift basket that was being featured on the site, and the company has been with the online market ever since. "Gilt Taste is a sophisticated platform that knows its audience well," Norton says. "We look at being on their site not as part of a sales strategy but more of a marketing strategy." Though Norton says sales via Gilt Taste are nominal (most sales by far come from the company's own website), being on the site has definite perks. "It is a great way for someone who has never heard of Sir Kensington's to get not just exposure to the brand but a great experience as well," he says. While the sales are made through Gilt Taste, Kensington & Sons drop-ships the product when sold individually. Norton touts the site's highly curated editorial as a powerful tool that resonates with consumers. "The exposure on Gilt Taste," adds Zack Gazzaniga, retail sales and production manager at Kensington & Sons, "also helps with the uphill education battle that you can have better ketchup. There is a lot of positive reinforcement by being on Gilt Taste; we are surrounded by other artisan brands and by association it helps to elevate our brand." For now, Norton plans to continue selling on Gilt Taste. "Our purpose now is to gain exposure, have people try the ketchup and make it available until our distribution becomes larger." (See "Choosing a Social Media Sales Site," p. 32, for Norton's tips on what to do if you're approached by an e-commerce site.) No matter what kind of digital sales tool you use, think of it not as a one-off opportunity but as a new relationship. Norton advises having a "next call to action" planned. If you drop-ship, make sure to include something that personalizes customers' shipments and connects them back to your business, like a thank-you card, a small sample or a comment form. Mobilize these resources strategically and you're on your way to new loyal customers. |SFM| Nicole Potenza Denis is a contributing editor to Specialty Food Magazine. Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats Morgan neighborhood in 2002, with this guiding philosophy: "Our treats are first and foremost fun and delicious, and they happen to be vegan. That is how we want people to approach our store." In 2005, one of Petersan's close friends was being filmed for a style show to air on a South Korean TV network. She and the film crew visited—and filmed—Sticky Fingers and Petersan. A group of Korean businessmen who had seen the show approached Petersan about developing the Sticky Fingers concept in Seoul; they ended up licensing its recipes (adapting them to suit their clientele and the availability of ingredients) and the usage rights to its logo. Petersan initially spent three weeks in Korea to help open the first store and train staff. Now, in addition to the original Sticky Fingers location, which moved to D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood in 2006, there are several locations in Korea, and Petersan continues to main- tain contact with the owners of the Korean branches. Petersan's treats gained a national audience in early 2012, when Petersan (and Sticky Fingers' head baker Jenny Webb) won The Food Network's "Cupcake Wars All-Stars" competition with a vegan treat, beating a bevy of butter- and egg-laden contenders. This publicity led to Petersan's forthcoming book: Sticky Fingers' Sweets: 100 Super-Secret Vegan Recipes (Avery, 2012). At the kitschy D.C. location—complete with hot-pink chairs and vintage appliances and furniture—you'll find some of those winning treats, plus savory items and coffee. Sweet standouts include: Cowvin Cookies (oatmeal cookie sandwiches filled with vanilla cream), Little Devils (vanilla cream–filled chocolate cake sandwiches topped with chocolate) and Sticky Buns (filled with walnuts and cinnamon). Customers can also choose from a few gluten-free items, and order customized cakes by picking a cake flavor, frosting and other elements to add "crunch" and "gooeyness." Many treats are available wholesale and through the Sticky Fingers website, which lists the ingredients of each item. |SFM| Dina Cheney is the author of Tasting Club and Williams-Sonoma's New Flavors for Salads and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Everyday with Rachael Ray, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking and Bon Appétit. JULY/AUGUST 2012 177 (continued from p. 134) STORE TOUR PHOTO: STICKY FINGERS SWEETS & EATS

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