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Since the beginning of print advertising, food retailers have been looking for innovative ways to entice consumers to purchase their products. First, print ads used beautiful works of photography with suggestive descriptors, then, with commercials, picture-perfect food displays were accompanied by “steam” and demonstrations of how their products are the most enjoyable.

For decades, sight and sound have been used to draw customers. The market is saturated with ad campaigns full of the ripest fruit and vegetables and claims that one fast food burger is superior to another. It’s virtually impossible to find true differences between any category of product.

Additionally, consumers have gotten savvy at avoiding exposure to and the influence of conventional advertisement. Commercials have gone from a necessary evil of TV entertainment to a component you can skip after a few seconds or pay a fee not to see at all.

While some businesses have turned to advertisement strategies that can be executed in the five seconds an ad plays before it can be skipped, others are exploring how adding scent in food sales boosts returns. In fact, using scent marketing to enhance sales has become the latest wave of revolutionary retail innovation. 

Scent marketing involves the deliberate manipulation of smells to establish loyal customers and driving sales. Our sense of smell is not interpreted through typical processing systems in our brains. Instead, fragrances hit our limbic system directly triggering strong memory and emotional connections.

Research shows that adding scents in food sales boosts profit by outstanding margins. When implemented skillfully, enhanced scents work in the background, almost subliminally, using the familiarity of a pleasant scent to promote the purchase of an item.

Moreover, the warm familiarity of a scent keeps your customer in your establishment longer, increasing the likelihood that they will purchase more than they had intended upon arrival. While they came to run in and grab milk for tomorrow morning’s breakfast, the natural or artificial smell of baked bread catches their attention. They may walk slower, which makes them more likely to notices additional items of interest—including their need for bread.

After their purchase, instead of cursing the store for adding scent in food sales, the customer leaves the store with a sense of happiness and loyalty that will compel them to return. It’s pleasurable to shop with delightful scents such as freshly baked bread. When your customers connect the familiar and pleasing scent to your store, the smell becomes a part of your brand which builds an experiential loyalty. When they shop at other stores, there will be “something missing,” even if they cannot put their finger on it. 

In the advent of the scent science, technology needed to conduct scent marketing campaigns were prohibitively expensive and therefore only utilized by retail giants. Today, the team at AromaTech provides scent marketing solutions for adding scent in food sales that are accessible to businesses of all sizes and capabilities.

We’ve developed a line of diffusers that are portable or can be installed in strategically inconspicuous locations around your floor space. Select from our extensive variety of scents derived from our essential or aroma oil lines, or collaborate with our technicians to develop a unique scent for your establishment.

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