How I write tasty product copy for food and beverages

When it comes to this niche, the assignment is always to make words mouth-watering. Now with experience, the task comes easy.

The biggest challenge is when I cannot get a hold of the products for a variety of reasons including logistics and time sensitivity. This means I won’t be able to taste, smell or see them in person. 

Having physical products factors in a lot when writing good copy. Plus, let me be honest, who doesn’t like free food or drinks?

My solution to scenarios like this is to ask the person in charge as many questions as possible. I will put together a neat 10-minute questionnaire. This allows me to gather the data that I need. 

Now…

How do I write tasty copy? My process usually involves 5 key steps. And it goes like this:

  1. Following the brand style guide.

    No matter how I want to approach a project in my own way, I have to follow the rules which are often laid out in a brand’s copy-style guide. This guide serves as my North Star when it comes to the copy’s tone of voice, style and structure.
  2. Understanding the consumers.

    Specifically, I wanted to know if there are certain words, jargons, or writing styles that I must avoid when talking to these demographics. For example, if I am selling fancy caviar to 60-year-old billionaires, I obviously need to avoid the word “delish”. Ideally, I need to understand how to talk to these people. 
  1. Letting them know about the ingredients.

    As consumers, we would love to know what we are shoving into our mouths. This is why including the main ingredients in the copy is essential. The way I do it is either I mention the ingredients in the copy’s body unless stated otherwise in the brand guide. Or, the copy is added to the ingredients list. Or it could be done both ways.
  2. Tapping into their senses

    The gods of marketing call it the “multi-sensory marketing strategy” or the use of vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste to market. I tap into our natural senses to help the person envision what their life could be (even for a brief moment!) if they have that product. Consider the beverage copy examples I provided here.  
  1. Rest, reset and re-write.

    Contrary to what most clients think, my copy is far from perfect and I don’t whip them like cream. It actually takes a lot of going back and forth to it and moments of loving the craft and hating myself. You know, the common process of creativity.

    There’s always this nagging feeling that “it can be better”. But, I also prioritise my sanity. So instead of pulling my hair to find the best way to chop and refine the copy, I give myself another 24-48 hours to rest, reset and do my final edit. This gives me the much-needed fresh eyes to see where I messed up. 


Know someone who might need a copywriter for their products? Tell them about my existence. I write product copy for e-commerce, artisans and big box stores. I can be reached at hey@vergielyn.com 

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