Have you ever played hide and seek with veggies? If you’ve ever fed a toddler, chances are you have. Changing the “yuckies” to the “yummies” is no easy task. Most of us living in the Pinterest world with kids are searching topics like “picky eaters” and “hiding vegetables in kid food”. If you’re like me, you find an awesome recipe and think “I can totally do this and my kids are gonna love it!” You go to the local small town grocery store and they look at you sideways when you ask for TVP (textured vegetable protein), ground flax meal or coconut flour. So you end up making something like black bean brownies or kale chips and get a “This tastes like card board!” or “Are you kidding me? These are not chips!!!” In comes Hidden Garden Foods. This is a fairly young company, started by a Mom who I’m thinking had a similar experience to the above paragraph. They make cookies from vegetables, brilliant! They currently have 4 flavours: Chocolate Chip made with pumpkin, Ginger Snap made with butternut squash, Red Velvet made with beets and Cocoa Cherry made with spinach. All gluten free and nut free with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. When I contacted Hidden Garden Foods to comment on how they are currently using social media to promote customer engagement in product development, their response was: “Thanks for getting in touch with us. We’re still learning the ropes of social media so I’m not sure we’re the best example of using it the most effectively…” My first reaction was to move onto a different company but a casually worded, engaging Facebook post and the kind, open and honest response to my inquiry kept me thinking this is exactly the right company to write this blog about. Hidden Garden Foods is already using their established social media network to work through the four main steps of customer involvement management: idea generation, idea screening, concept development/testing and marketing/ distribution.
Internet-savvy consumers have come to expect the opportunity to share their opinions, and companies are using this to their advantage. With the growing use of social media, product development is no longer reliant on traditional focus groups and customer surveys. Stephanie Gehman points out that companies “can use social media-based conversations, feedback, comments, complaints and more as a source of… Read more »