Title: Corporate Gifters Seek Personalization, Drive Demand For Food Gifts

Word Count:
558

Summary:
July 10th, 2007 — Personalization and practicality are driving corporate gift giving, according to researchers; and the popularity of corporate food gifts is growing as companies seek to gain the greatest benefits from year-end client and customer gifting campaigns.

A survey done in 2006 by American Express revealed that almost half of corporate gift selections are now food-related, replacing the flowers and gift cards that have dominated in previous years. Flexibility, s…

Keywords:
corporate gift, corporate gifts, business gift, business gifts, gift basket, gift corporate, gifts

Article Body:
July 10th, 2007 — Personalization and practicality are driving corporate gift giving, according to researchers; and the popularity of corporate food gifts is growing as companies seek to gain the greatest benefits from year-end client and customer gifting campaigns.

A survey done in 2006 by American Express revealed that almost half of corporate gift selections are now food-related, replacing the flowers and gift cards that have dominated in previous years. Flexibility, selection, and the near-universal appeal of indulgent foods allow businesses to easily find a customized solution that invokes a positive feeling and a sense of bonding in recipients.

Companies looking for personalized, high-impact business gifts have a new array of choices thanks to the growing number of bakeries online that offer nationwide delivery and one-stop shopping for multiple corporate gift needs.

“There’s something personal about food that flowers and gift cards can’t deliver,” notes Stephen Pazyra, CEO of 1-800-Bakery.com, whose hand-selected, award-winning bakeries have helped clients such as Domino’s Pizza and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of California with thank- you and promotional product programs. “The response we hear from our clients is always, ?The recipients were amazed. We got a terrific response.? I think a big part of the appeal is the thoughtfulness that these corporate gifts convey.”

It is no surprise then that baked goods are a good match to what is currently expected from gift recipients. The trend report from the Motivation Show held last September in Chicago, Illinois, highlighted the following goals as the most important for corporate gift givers:

? Expression of warmth and appreciation
? Invoking a positive feeling in the recipient
? Creating a reminder of the company

Food gifts from a corporate office can create a positive association with the company brand. Experts say that the newest trend in corporate gifting is personalization, and many companies are turning to baked goods for gifts that can easily be customized. Marketing expert Terry Keating notes that gifts personalized with the recipient’s name are now outselling the logo items that dominated past holiday seasons.

Another important factor contributing to food being a popular gift option is staying within a budget, but as 1-800-Bakery.com Senior Producer Derek Gerry explains, value is just as important. “If you’re looking to stand out, or if you’re looking for a higher response rate from recipients, you need to consider the power of food. You’re giving your clients something they can immediately enjoy, something that extends the value of your brand,” he said.

Companies such as 1-800-Bakery.com also offer faster turnaround and delivery times, with corporate gift orders processed and delivered in weeks rather than months. Custom messages can be adapted to cookie shapes or to cake tops, and gift-wrapping and additional messaging can be included in the delivery, providing a complete turnkey solution for corporate giving. Expertise in shipping and discounts from major shipping partners allows them to provide the best possible shipping rates.

Offering a corporate food gift can enhance the impact of a gifting program and even create closeness among recipients, who are likely to share the gifts. As an alternative to off-the-shelf flower arrangements or impersonal gift cards, corporate food gifts deliver a higher value to the giver and build a bond with the recipient. With corporations seeking more from their business gifts, companies like 1-800-Bakery.com will become an increasingly attractive choice to deliver personalized gift solutions.

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