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Beverage aisle feels the most social love, NetBase report finds

Mary Ellen Shoup

By Mary Ellen Shoup+

Last updated on 02-Aug-2016 at 16:09 GMT2016-08-02T16:09:30Z

NetBase research says beverages hold the largest share of voice (SOV) for the F&B industry, but the lowest net sentiment (ie, how passionate a consumer feels about a product). iStock/RubenLammerink
NetBase research says beverages hold the largest share of voice (SOV) for the F&B industry, but the lowest net sentiment (ie, how passionate a consumer feels about a product). iStock/RubenLammerink

Beverages dominated the top ten list of the brands consumers are talking the most about via social media, according to NetBase Social Media Industry Report for 2016.

To build the report, NetBase utilized its social analytics technology to examine more than 84 million mentions across social networks, review sites, blogs, and forums between June 22, 2015 and June 21, 2016. It then ranked 72 of the most loved food and beverage brands from the following grocery aisles: adult beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, candy, cereal, dairy, and snacks.

The report found that more beverage brands were ranked in the top ten spots than any other aisle with Budweiser (#2), Red Bull (#3), Coca-Cola (#5), Pepsi (#6), and Mountain Dew (#9).

“This is the most telling because it tells you that these brands are doing the best at figuring out who their audience is, or who their sub-audiences are,” Paige Leidig, chief marketing officer at NetBase, told BeverageDaily.

According to Leidig, the top ten brands have all excelled at creating authentic, targeted campaigns to engage with their core audience. 

“Looking at consumer conversations related to your category or aisle can reveal meaningful insight into the priorities of your customers and the tone they use, providing guidelines for the brand to break through the social noise and catch their eye through other marketing channels."

Social media bubbles over soda

The report delved specifically into the debates around soda drinking preferences, brands, and the soda tax enacted in the US and UK.

The social conversation about sugar regulation was taking place worldwide: 45% of all “sugar tax” or “soda tax” conversation came from the UK. The report also found that in the US, the Northeast, most notably the Philadelphia metropolitan area, had the highest volume of soda-tax social buzz.

‘I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight’

Budweiser ranked second in the list of top ten brands with the most social media engagement behind Skittles.

Leidig noted that with the rise in popularity of imported and craft beer the NetBase team was surprised to see that “Budweiser is still highly regarded on social.”

“And that has to do with Budweiser positioning itself differently than they did before and really trying to engage with a broader audience.”

The King of Beers' high awareness is linked closely with major sporting events and pop culture like the Super Bowl.

The report found that social media mentions spiked dramatically after the 2016 Super Bowl when Peyton Manning of the winning team mentioned Budweiser in part of his victory speech:

“I’ll take some time to reflect. I’ve got a couple of priorities first. I want to go kiss my wife and my kids. I want to go hug my family. I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Tracy, I promise you that,” Manning said after winning Super Bowl 2016.

Also in 2016, rapper Drake released his song “One Dance” where he mentions cognac brand Hennessy. NetBase research found that Hennessy lyric racked up four million mentions on social media.

“Social listening matters because people are talking to lots of different people at the same time, so it is going somewhere and the impact of that can be broad as well as fast,” Leidig said. 

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