Note: the Taste of Durban event is one of 600 trends pulled from the Springleap Creative Insights Platform. For further information on subscribing to the platform, go to www.trends.springleap.com
Durban is a city enjoyed by many for its rich mix of culture, beautiful scenery, friendly faces and of course its newly revamped beachfront. However, one element that makes Durban what it is (and adds a little spice into the mix) is the local cuisine. The Taste of Durban is a community-driven smorgasbord of the city’s finest food. Showcasing the most popular local restaurants, chefs and producers, the event also serves as an open marketplace for brands to tap into the ‘Foodie’ market.
Foodies, plainly put, are consumers who can’t resist food. As artisanal influence is becoming more apparent in the South African dining experience, food is becoming more of a craft than a necessity and an enjoyment. In Durban, the abundance of strong culture has made an impact on local food for years. Now, as the consumer demand for a unique culinary experience rises, events like the Taste of Durban is filling the gap. More so, the potential for brands to engage with their markets - and new ones - in these spaces is huge.
From the 24th - 26th of July, the official Taste of Durban took place at Suncoast Casino in Durban North, sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay.
A video from Hollwyoodbets’s YouTube channel, capturing the consumer experience of the Taste of Durban 2015
Taste of Durban - Why did it Trend?
For Foodies, this event was a haven of excitement. The event has been known to stir immense buzz throughout the city, and has become one of Durban’s must attend events on the food calendar.
Although primary attracting those with an experienced palette, and foodies who are on the lookout for something new, the entire event doesn’t have a very specific market. The general public have always been welcomed, children right through to the elderly came to enjoy the feast. Also, there is a variety of food on offer, and therefore the event can cater to all preferences and tastes.
The location, Sunset Casino, was also a great choice of venue for the Taste of Durban, as it is already a well-known hot spot for consumers interested in a range of activities. At least eight of Durban’s most unique restaurants served attendees starter size portions of their flagship meals. This pushed in favour of their brand awareness and gave customers a unique platform of interaction; giving them the ability to sample.
Taste of Durban - Why it Matters to Brands
Local brands can “dig in” too. Besides from the blue chip sponsor Pick ‘n Pay and the restaurants showcasing their menus, other brands can serve up some engagement. Foodies love food, but they also enjoy other things. Given the wide variety of ages and cultures that attended, relative brands can strategise their involvement in the Taste of Durban.
Food is a lifestyle, and @Home offers a range of home lifestyle products. The Taste of Durban would be a great opportunity for them to advertise or showcase their latest range of kitchenware. The brand could potentially pick up new customers and become front of mind when consumers think about experimenting with speciality food in their own homes.
Two Oceans Wine made a presence at this event, as well as cocktail brand Original Cocktails. However, there seems to be a lack of beer tents at the event. Going in line with the brand identity of this event, local craft beers could make a fresh impact. Some of Kwazulu Natal’s hidden gems in the industry lie in the town of Bothas Hill, just outside of Hillcrest. The area boasts the Porcupine Quill Brewery, which offers three distinct craft beers: Quills, Dam Wolf and African Moon
Taste of Durban - Why it Matters to Agencies
At any event, marketing and advertising is a great tool to build hype. Partnered with the right brands, creative input will only place emphasis on why consumers should go, and highlights the essence of the event.
As the location is the Sunset Casino, there would be a range of media touch points that can be utilised for effective communication. Brand activities would be a perfect instance to showcase the creative caliber of an agency. Since the event is centered around Durban’s unique restaurants and food brands, there will be a desire for consumers to understand the backstory of the business. This is where fantastic copywriting and design can walk hand in hand, enrapturing audiences with storytelling and imagery.