Does it Make Sense to Give Italian Food as Corporate Gifts?
It’s easy to see the appeal of Italian food. In fact, if you look at recent food industry surveys from the US market, the number of pizzas being sold on an annual basis in the United States is mind boggling. We’re talking about millions upon millions of pizzas. It’s no surprise that companies like Pizza Hut and Dominos are such huge corporations. Pizza, as well as pasta and other standard fare of Italian cuisine are both popular and familiar.
Now, with that said, just because something is popular and familiar, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should give it away as a corporate gift. In fact, when it comes to corporate tokens and gifts, food items require very special attention. You have to be very careful when giving food as corporate gifts. It can lead to all sorts of touchy situations. You might send all the wrong messages. It depends on the cuisine, it depends on the packaging.
The way you attach your branding to the packaging might send off unintended messages. There’s just so many things that could go wrong. This is why, as a rule of thumb, try to stay away from giving away food. If anything, a lot of corporations give away food as corporate gifts in the form of gift certificates. This goes a long way in diffusing any potential problematic situations.
With that said, if you insist on giving away actual food items, pay attention to the following rules of thumb. These can go a long way in helping you give Italian food as corporate gifts effectively and productively.
Avoid Giving Fresh Food
This should be pretty self-explanatory. You wouldn’t want to give a gift that is going to spoil easily. While in the United States and elsewhere where there is a temperate climate, food can remain fresh for a longer period of time. They definitely can remain fresh longer compared to the tropics.
With that said, you should try to avoid giving fresh food as a general principle. It doesn’t matter whether the recipient is going to eat the food item a couple of days after you give it away. There’s just so many things that could go wrong as far as planning is concerned and the food ends up spoiling.
Make no mistake about it, since the Italian food items that you’re giving away will carry your brand, you wouldn’t want the recipient to equate spoiled food with your brand. You don’t want the impression that your brand is, in some way or form, “spoiled.”
Avoid Giving Items in Thin Glass Containers or Anything Else that Shatters Easily
There are lots of pasta mixes on the market. A lot of them come in very thin glass containers. While they may be nice to look at and they may have fancy designs, if they shatter, you will put your company in serious hot water. First of all, you make a really messy impression when your gift causes all sorts of problems because the glass container they came in shattered.
Also, in more practical terms, you might be putting your company in legal hot water if the shattered container causes physical damage or some sort of injury. At the very least, shattered containers holding Italian food can be very inconvenient. Do yourself a big favor. If you insist on giving away Italian food as corporate giveaways, pick items that ship in relatively thick glass containers.
Avoid Giving Food that Discolors
As mentioned above, you wouldn’t want your brand to be equated with something that is spoiled. Accordingly, don’t give away food that discolors with time. It may start off as pink and then it turns into dark brown after a few months. That’s no good. You want your brand to look good. That’s why you should only give away Italian food that remains a uniform color over the years. Even if the food item stays on the shelf for several years, its color shouldn’t change.
Do Give Italian Food Items That are Dry and Have a Long Shelf Life
As much as possible, try to give Italian food corporate gifts that are dry and have a long shelf life. One common example of this is, of course, is pasta. Pasta can stay fresh on a shelf and be usable for several years. Canned goods also fit the bill.
Avoid Giving Food that Smells Quickly
You want your giveaway to look fresh or at least be perceived as fresh. Unfortunately, this all goes out the window if the food ends up smelling. This is very important. Make sure that you give away food items that are dry enough so that they don’t smell after some time.
Focus on Small but Usable Portions
The whole point of corporate giveaways is to really grab eyeballs. You don’t need to give somebody a large platter of Italian food to get their attention. Instead, small usable portions that fit their need for Italian food is good enough. As long as they see your logo and enjoy the food, that is a good enough experience. You don’t need to stock their pantry for years on end.
Give Gifts in High Attention Containers
The secret to giving away any kind of food as a corporate giveaway is to focus on the container. In other words, make sure that the container grabs attention and directs that direction to your brand. It doesn’t really matter how much food the container contains. That’s a secondary consideration. The top consideration is that when somebody looks at the container, they feel that they are getting a tremendous amount of value.
Maybe they get that old world Italian charm. Maybe they perceive all the distinct charms of Italian culture. Whatever the case may be, it’s the container that is doing the heavy lifting as far as recipient perceptions are concerned. It should not be the actual food itself. Of course, the food should taste good enough so that your brand doesn’t look bad. But the food itself is secondary to the container.