The Marketing Mix: African Cuisine

By West Africa Cooks, 13 December, 2017

This articles gives marketing and promotional ideas for African and Caribbean people in the diaspora looking to start a business or enter the food (popups, supperclubs and restaurant) sector. This article refers to the London market but can be applied to other cities in the UK and the markets of the US.

Promotion Of African Cuisine

Target Audience Our Market

  1. Black African Or Caribbean 35-65 A Market
    1st generation. Typical person is someone who is a homeowner and has disposable income, maybe business owner, hairdresser, has business in Africa, family, children and grandchildren, God (market size small, bigger spenders)
  2. Younger Black African or Caribbean 25-35 B Market
    2nd or 3rd generation black African Caribbean, self employed, professional graduate, educated, socially aware, conscious, using the event for social networking with the girls and/or dating. Young, aspirational and independent mostly women. Likes to go out. Fashionable, single (market size medium, less spenders)
  3. UK/European Foodie 25-40 C Market
    White young professionals, traveler, like to experiment with food, food blogger, food journalists, recipe junkies. Professional has disposable income, reads paper like The Guardian. Love Sunday lunch out (coffee). Likes to drink, wine and beer (craft). Farmers market. New to African food, value reviews. In a mixed race relationship, identify with black or ethnic community (Market size biggest group, average spender) with in this group there is *napkin foodie and serviette foodie.
    See ref for stats (size and spend) on the above.

Questions Which of these groups is the most value? C, A and B in this order. Or different where you live. How do we market (find, advertise and offer) to these groups? Check Product (the meal), place (distribution in the case the location), promotion and price. All these groups are going to pubs and nightclubs less. Pubs are closing so what are they doing?

We can find these groups at: Open the gate, Africa at Spitalfield, Southbank Centre Africa Utopia events, Ghana in the park, food and wine tasting and similar events. Festivals, Black history event, Street Food Brick Lane Market, Wentworth Street (Middlesex Street, African fashion) Brixton black cultural archives, Notting Hill carnival, Canary wharf markets Farmers etc Chapel market, Caledonian market markets borough market Berwick, Camden, Portobello, Whitechapel, Columbia Road Flower, Brick Lane, Broadway, Alexandra Palace Farmers, South Kensington Farmers, Real Food, Marylebone, Exmouth, Peckham, market, Glamping festival event market, holidays in the Caribbean and Africa. Add to for your local city… Also note cafes and bars, co working spaces and travel hubs in cities.

There is an opportunity to market African and Caribbean food with drink.

Read Trying Ethnic Food, African And Caribbean Cuisine

Promoting To The Market (Advertising)

Using The Right Copy Content To Attract The Market

Marketing to differ groups with differ copy, video and images and review recommendations. eg for group C also need to study and follow grubclub, etc (online, email, twitter and facebook) how they market to UK foodies.

Your Popup, SupperClub, Event And Restaurant Name

Popular businesses keep their title short. I would start it with the word African why. If you look at the reviews for online businesses they are in alphabetical order. MOST OF THE TIME.

Test out name with your market. A B or C order RANK by letters and name length.

Food And Drink Pairing

Market C like to drink consider including copy like African food and either
1 African beer or
1 African or Caribbean cocktail or
1 South African wine or
1 Palm wine or soft drink or ginger beer, tropical fruit

OR Rotate offering

Appealing to C market may also involve promoting African drinks first they like craft beers so promote Star beer and Kenyan Tusker. Cocktails, ginger beers etc. (you make it up, your idea) They like wine promote palm wine and South African wine. Consider having a drinks brand of African drink being a sponsor. Note: There are individuals within this group that do not know the difference between African and Caribbean food. NO CLUE AT ALL. They may enjoy be educated in the history of Africa and the Caribbean.

Enjoy a taste of Africa we have cocktails. Test names like Zombie, Voodoo, Mojito, African Queen, Havana Rum, Plantation, Jungle Juice, Desert Breeze, Jamaican Rum, Nubia Queen/King, Exotic Lover, Sex on the Beach Mali Malibu Magic, Timbuktu, Victoria Falls, Zanzibar add to... Test out see what works. You are selling sun, sea, sand, exotic, summer, adventure and mystery with images, text video etc.. have you tried #African cuisine tick it off your bucket list.

Read What Do Africans Like To Drink? and Favorite Rum Brands And Top Sellers

Recommendation Or Example Copy

Arrive at their diner's wonderland and join your fellow foodies for a variety of amazing feasts with the sounds of a live Jazz band keeping things thoroughly LIVELY! It’s BYOB and every night is different with their revolving door of chefs providing new flavours every night!

Love this concept, lovely host, lovely food, great way of meeting new people, great band playing live music,last but not least lovely house! Get booking guys. A must try. Loved it” - GC Reviewer

This is an event born of a love of food, wine and good times, something that's apparent from the moment you climb aboard - Time Out

The story about African/Caribbean food, the education, history and why you do what you do, the personal touch. etc.. Talk about the recipes.

Have your birthday party an African (Caribbean) affair etc..

C Group Loves Giving Charity

Save the children
Medicine san frontier
Ebola etc...

Maybe some money goes to a charity of your choice in association with your business venture. This group loves fair trade products, ethically sourced foods and vegan options.
They love traveling and have an interest in Africa and or the Caribbean. As mentioned above there is a chance to educate and entertain.

Read Maximise The Success Of Your Supperclub

Copy for A and B Group

Why You Should Go?

Do you value African/Caribbean heritage, authenticity and personal interaction. Here is why you should attend, support with your money and then give feedback to Africa/Caribbean foodie events. If African/Caribbean food businesses do well then there is a strong base to support other business. Let guest know that we will be listening, sharing, contemplating and discussing. We will be collaborating and inspiring. Connect and catch up with the influential people in the market of African/Caribbean food. You are proud of your heritage or have a connection, interest and or business in Africa or the Caribbean please join us.

Read Three Reasons Why You Should Start An African Supper Club

Images Or Video Must Be Of Target Market Group

High quality content of the market is required doing what you would like them to be doing at your event. Enjoying themselves eating your food. Save an archive database of images and video which can be called upon for advertising future events.

Competition To African Cuisine

Who are your main competitors for this group? It is French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, American and British Cuisine. So you need to get the promotion, price product and place (location) right every time to attract and achieve repeat business.

Repeat Business Matrix

Market Loyalty/Repeat Custom Love Of African Food

A) Black African Or Caribbean 35-65**

High. Will tolerate bad service


B) Younger Black African or Caribbean 25-35

Medium. Will support if you give good service

Medium to high

C) UK/European Foodie 25-40***

Low. Require heavy marketing to come again

Choice. Compared to Indian and Chinese

*Napkins are posh cloth used again, serviettes are normally paper.
**Loyalty schemes/cards are need and or VIP treatment
***Need early offers

Finally attend, support with your money and then give feedback to African and Caribbean foodies where you can.
West Africa Cooks


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