6. MARKETING AND DIGITAL INITIATIVE

You can have the greatest product in the world, but without savvy marketing nobody will know about it. Whether via print or TV advertising, social media, online or PR, this category recognises the best public-facing work of the year.


1. #WatercressChallenge

Taking a super nutritious but often overlooked leafy green vegetable, we created an engaging campaign which raised awareness and encouraged trial of watercress by introducing it to a new young old audience.

Watercress has long been favoured by an older audience who love its distinct peppery taste yet it’s relatively unknown by the young who often mix it up with mustard cress or just recognise it as an accompaniment to dishes like steak. So we wanted to bring it to the fore, promote it to the centre of the plate and shout about its many benefits!

Targeting a young health and fitness, foodie audience, it was an easy story to tell. Just armed with a big bag of watercress and a recipe and nutrition booklet, social media influencers on Instagram were asked to use watercress in a number of different dishes and share their experiences using the #WatercressChallenge. There was no monetary incentive to take part so it was amazing how many influencers took the campaign to heart and passionately spread the love of watercress to their followers. 

They demonstrated its versatility by creating a selection of inspiring dishes; adding flavour and colour to anything from salads and sauces to smoothies and sandwiches, as well as exuding its many health benefits. The content really inspired followers with posts receiving lots of likes, shares and engaged conversation. Building momentum, the #WatercressChallenge has resulted in over 200 posts on Instagram, delivering almost three million impressions, and a double-page spread in The Telegraph.

 


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2. Get Set to Eat Fresh (Aldi)

Get Set to Eat Fresh was launched with the objective of ensuring a legacy of the Aldi Team GB partnership that will live long beyond the current partnership scope.

The goal of our campaign was to bring the nation closer to their Olympic heroes and educate the nation on healthy eating. The campaign provides free materials for teachers and parents to support young people aged 5-14 in developing their understanding and love of fresh, healthy food, the skills they need to cook for themselves and the desire to celebrate food with friends and family.  

Since the partnership began in 2015, Aldi’s Get Set to Eat Fresh initiative has reached over one million young people in the UK. Inspiring the next generation, our athletes front the campaign which aims to teach home cooking skills and the importance of eating fresh, healthy food. The programme is on track to reach 1.2 million young people by 2020. 

Not only did we achieve our objectives, we also secured the next sponsorship to support Team GB all the way to Tokyo 2020 and beyond, where we will strive to deliver unique and refreshing marketing campaigns. Through our Team GB marketing campaign, we aspire to leave behind a legacy of our partnership by educating the nation to lead a happy, active and healthy lifestyle, thus making a real and positive difference on the fresh produce industry and generations to come.

 


3. AVA Berries (Angus Soft Fruits)

This summer Angus Soft Fruits invested in a strategic marketing plan to increase awareness and trust amongst end consumers of our premium berry brand, AVA™ Berries.

We conducted extensive market research to identify our target audience and developed a seven-month integrated marketing campaign designed to reach ABC1 health-conscious consumers in geographical areas where AVA™ Berries are widely available.   

We partnered with the Edinburgh Marathon Festival - Scotland’s largest running event - as their ‘Official Strawberry Supplier’ and sampled AVA™ Berries across the weekend. We entered six members of staff who competed wearing AVA™ Berries-branded kit and partnered with key influencers to share training and fitness plans. The following week we embarked on three days of sampling at our key Edinburgh retailers and in high-footfall city centre locations.  

Our social media marketing and PR activity has included sample drops to target journalists and influencer partnerships and sharing creative content and recipes across our channels. We invested in geo-targeted posts and competitions on Instagram and Facebook, the largest giveaway being two tickets to the Ladies Semi Finals at Wimbledon. We are also working closely with high-end restaurants to create recipes using and naming AVA™ Berries on the menu to further illustrate the superior quality of the fruit.  

Results (May/June 2019): Directly sampled +13,000 people. Estimated brand visibility +40,000; Reached +32,520 people on social media, receiving 1,500 entries to our Wimbledon competition; Generated 72 pieces of coverage in Scottish and UK national and regional media. +1.5 million opportunities to see. 


4. Blue Skies

Blue Skies have fantastic products that taste amazing and do good for the world, but few had heard of them and that needed to change. With some Blue Sky thinking, they came up with a fresh new plan.

With the growing trend of people turning to social media for advice and reviews rather than traditional printed media, Blue Skies took a slightly different approach at the start of the summer. They took four influencers to their site in Ghana where their delicious, dairy-free ice cream is made. It started out as a tough sell, as the idea of vegan ice cream made in Ghana is a little nuts, (coconuts to be precise), but four people signed up to the adventure: a photographer, a mum, a lifestyle blogger and a vegan. Each of the four got deeply involved in every part of the process. They planted pineapples, collected coconuts, cut mangoes and saw the process of turning these fresh-from-harvest fruits in to creamy and delicious, dairy-free ice cream. They even got the full sustainability story by visiting the Blue Skies compost site as well as seeing three of the 100 projects that have been completed by the Blue Skies foundation over the last 10 years.

The influencers, fell in love with Blue Skies and their culture and massively over-delivered on their initial commitment. To date, Blue Skies have received 241 pieces of genuine, real content with 1.1 million engagements – definitely worth a weekend in Ghana!

 


5. Fresh Food Co EU

Fresh Food Co EU markets and distributes fresh produce to supermarket chains, foodservice providers, independent retailers and wholesalers across UK and Europe in a range of retail-ready and wholesale markets. We are passionate about delivering the highest-quality produce, providing outstanding customer service and wholeheartedly adding value to our clients and their consumers.

As a market leader in exotic vegetables, tropical fruits, herbs and many other specialty vegetables, the company invests heavily in using the latest technology and digital marketing techniques to ensure our customers experience our business philosophy with every purchase, "Freshness and Quality without Compromise, Hassle-Free Service!"

Fresh Food Co EU uses a web portal to collect critical business information; the company operates separate web pages for its customers and suppliers where these stakeholders are able to process vendor registration, account opening information and completing administrative due diligence through the use of this portal.

In order to deliver fresh produce year-round by air within 48 hours of harvest to select destinations in the United Kingdom and Europe, Fresh Food Co EU utilises social media marketing and email marketing to connect with customers by sharing information about interesting new products and season starts on a daily basis.

The company aims to accelerate its growth rate, and the company gives employees the flexibility to work from home and uses a digital portal to give access to a shared work-space for staff.

The company is focused on supplying fresh produce with good value, great taste and high nutritional benefits.


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6. Great British Apples (Richmond & Towers)

Objectives and Strategy
English Apples & Pears (EAP) needed to invigorate the promotion of British apples to reflect a dynamic top-fruit sector. We deployed a disruptive campaign, based on our own research which revealed that health, provenance and ‘Britishness’ all influence purchase decisions. 

Armed with insight, our campaign was built around social media activity, sampling, press events and point of sale advertising – the first time EAP had engaged directly with retailers.

Execution
In 2017 we launched a new Great British Apples brand for EAP, and in 2018 we built on this with refreshed collateral to allow consumers to easily differentiate between home-grown apples and those produced elsewhere.

The creative was presented to UK retailers and we were thrilled when Ocado, M&S and Booths carried out activities featuring our Great British Apples brand identity. 

We launched EAP’s long-term growth strategy using a film to visualise the future of the British apple industry. This was showcased during the key start-of-season period, presenting the organisation as dynamic and forward-thinking. The strategy was presented via a film premiere at Notting Hill’s Electric Cinema to retailers, marketing desks, growers and media to galvanise the industry.

Results
In the past year, the campaign achieved a media reach of over 300 million which helped apples to reclaim their top spot as Britain’s favourite fruit [Nielsen, 52 w/e 8 September 2018]. One of the supporting retailers, Ocado, also experienced a staggering 20% click-through rate on promotional banners which helped drive sales of British fruit.


7. Making Business Matter

Digital, and particularly SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), is a strange new world. Maybe this is the homeland for young people and online businesses? Though never wanting to shy away from a fight, we chose 'Category Management' as the search query to win, so that when 2,000 people each month type this into their browser, we would be first. 

To be the first result on google, we found out something that should have stopped us dead. The google algorithm has over 200 parts. Together, trying to provide the consumer with what they want. When you type into Google’s search box, it scans over 180 million websites for how those websites compare to the 200 parts. Some examples of those 200 parts are; How quickly the webpage loads, how local it is, how many words are written, and another 197 parts.

We wrote the first 'Ultimate Guide to Category Management' back in 2014. Since then we have spent endless hours understanding what google and the consumer wants. Our Guide is now 7,500 words, and packed full of exclusive interviews, infographics, and, is, what we like to call 'Jaw Dropping Content'.

Our guide has climbed from page 100 of google. We are proud to have achieved position 3 on page 1 of Google, only beaten by Wikipedia and Forbes. We aren't stopping until we are #1! We deserve to win this award because we didn't shy away from the new and the strange. We challenged ourselves to learn, and not to give up.

 


8. Choose Riverford (Riverford)

'Choose Riverford' is a consumer-facing disruptive marketing campaign designed to generate debate around ethical food choices and promote organic vegetables. 
With a total budget of £250,000, the campaign runs across multiple channels including London Underground advertising, out-of-home door drops, print and online media, targeted social media and videos. 

Marketing veg boxes (Riverford’s core product) presents a few challenges which the campaign aims to overcome in the increasingly crowded food subscription market. Veg boxes contain seasonal, sometimes unfamiliar, produce: you have to be confident in the kitchen to cook from its contents, and not afraid to try the odd kohlrabi. It's (a little) more expensive than non-organic veg. We need to convince that the veg, ethics and the experience are worth this extra.

We wanted to get our audience to pause and think about the wrong way of buying food, the complicit choices they make every day - without slinging mud. We looked at what Riverford stood for, and for every 'feel good' there was a negative - things that would not make you feel good if you valued the environmental impact or ethics of your food. Our approach was to point out the hidden negatives that a customer was inadvertently buying into if they did not choose Riverford, countered by the positive reasons to choose Riverford as an antidote.

As the biggest investment in multichannel marketing to date, Choose Riverford helped create the best sales year in company history, alongside a transformative move to employee ownership.

 


9. Eat Them to Defeat Them (The Food Foundation)

The purpose of the “Eat Them to Defeat Them” campaign was to give primary-age kids a more positive attitude towards vegetables. This was to be achieved through utilising the incredible offers of pro-bono work we secured from ITV (who provided £2 million worth of prime time ad slots) and Adam & Eve/DDB (the award-winning creative agency who brought the campaign to life for us), as well as £600,000 of digital poster advertising, 250 sites from Transport for London, 1.4m views in Odeon & Vue cinemas, and more.

We created an online resource to support parents, a network of 250 high-profile individuals and organisations, and social media campaigns. We secured coverage in national newspapers, and varying levels of support from the 11 largest grocery retailers.

We worked hard to deliver the campaign on a local level through a community partnership programme providing digital and physical assets into local communities, schools and projects. We distributed over 300,000 school packs for KS2 pupils. In support of the Consumer Goods Forum health initiative, we had a particular focus in Lambeth, including school veg-themed competitions, a family fun day in Brixton and cookery lessons for up to 10,000 KS2 pupils.

The campaign was backed by the biggest coalition in UK advertising history, and the pro bono evaluation undertaken by some of the UK’s leading data analysis companies and universities is already revealing the positive impact the campaign has had on changing kids’ attitudes towards veg for the better across the nation!

 


10. Saxon’s Asparagus (Wealmoor)

From our farms in Suffolk and the Heart of England comes the true taste of Britain. 

British asparagus is seen as an icon of the UK’s vegetable season and enjoying a rise in popularity over the last years. Nutritious, versatile and easy to cook, asparagus is a great choice for a delicious yet healthy cooking experience.  

Wealmoor grows asparagus in Suffolk, Shropshire, the Vale of Evesham and Warwickshire. It’s a huge operation with the largest areas of the newest varieties. We’re supporting growers all over the UK and the development of a home-grown industry. 

We’ve launched Saxon’s Asparagus through a multi-channel marketing campaign to point out various benefits of this vegetable while supporting UK provenance and industry. It was significantly important for its contribution to public health and UK asparagus.                                                                                                                                                                                           Initiatives: Saxon’s Asparagus webpage launch; Saxon’s Asparagus launch across social media platforms (LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter) to spread the word and reach a wide audience; Delivery of complimentary Saxon’s Asparagus boxes to chefs awarded with a Michelin star; Partnership with British Asparagus Association.

Thanks to its superior quality, Saxon’s Asparagus has been selected as one of three suppliers for their asparagus event in Boxpark. The campaign has created a huge buzz on social media and reached over 30,000 people in six weeks period through engagement, advertorials and events. Saxon’s Asparagus has been tagged by a very credible nutritional scientist on Instagram, and appraised by various chefs at The London Produce Show 2019. Our seasonal asparagus sales have risen 20% YOY.