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Nov. 2013 Issue: NFRA CAMPAIGN IS SUCCEEDING

This year’s efforts produce 111.5 million media impressions and measurably improve consumers’ views of frozen foods.

SkipShaw09

The frozen food aisle has become the destination for real ingredients, chef-inspired recipes, vibrant flavors and wholesome, affordable meals. Trouble is, today’s consumers aren’t tuned in to that evolution.

A highlight from the recent National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) Convention in San Diego was sharing the exciting results of our first-ever integrated marketing/communications program to change these misperceptions and ultimately purchase behavior.

EDELMAN PARTNERSHIP

Partnering with Edelman, recently named The Holmes Report’s 2013 Global PR Agency of the Year, we drew upon extensive research on frozen foods’ place in the broader food dialogue. This allowed us to identify opportunities to inform traditional and online media stories, and ultimately engage consumers in positive conversations about the category.

The campaign kicked off with a splash surrounding March Frozen Food Month with a video illustrating the behind-the-scenes journey of frozen food, from field to table, and an infographic that further illustrated frozen food statistics and facts. Both of these assets were heavily promoted through our online channels. A “Mr. Food Test Kitchen Show” partnership propelled the positive momentum, garnering more than nine million views. This was complemented by a national FSI and consumer sweepstakes in conjunction with the release of the DreamWorks film, “The Croods,” which reached 37 million consumers.

But we didn’t stop there. Since March, we have continued to partner with influential spokespeople — including moms, foodies and a registered dietitian — and media outlets like “The Daily Buzz” and Cooking with Caitlin to tell the real frozen foods story. We’ve also continued a steady drumbeat of media coverage in outlets like USA Today, “Fox & Friends,” Shape, KCAL9, The Captivate Network, SheKnows.com and Working Mother.

To further increase frozen foods’ online visibility and relevance, we also strengthened and expanded our digital and social media strategy — which has netted a 1,200% increase in Facebook likes and more than 400% increase in Twitter followers since January. We even made frozen foods a worldwide trending topic on Twitter during a Foodies Night In (#FNIchat) Twitter Chat in June — reaching nearly 400,000 people in the process. Alongside Twitter and Facebook, we launched a presence on Pinterest, and our community continues to grow as users engage with and share our content.

Aside from generating more than 111.5 million media impressions and increasing consumer awareness of frozen foods’ value, versatility, quality and flavor, our 2013 efforts have begun to make the most important impact of all: improving consumers’ favorability rating of the department. Recent benchmarking analysis shows that in just nine months, overall favorability has increased — particularly in conversations in online forums, blogs and social media, where consumers are engaging with each other and influencing others’ opinions.

NFRA MEMBERS KEY

But critical to continued growth of our reach and impact is the participation of NFRA members, as brands have the predominant voice in media coverage and conversation surrounding frozen foods. While NFRA’s voice is growing through this outreach, our members have the power to truly take the campaign to the next level — helping create a surround-sound environment for the consumer. We will continue to provide members with the tools and resources they need to get involved and amplify our messages through their channels, which will ultimately help drive positive conversation volume and re-shape consumer behavior toward the frozen food aisle.

We were proud to present these results at our recent convention and see the positive and enthusiastic response from our members. Our early success is proof that our approach is making an impact and will fuel our plans for continued outreach in 2014 and beyond. For more information or to become involved, please go to www.nfraweb.org or call 717-657-8601.

– Skip Shaw

 

Skip Shaw is president and CEO of the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), Harrisburg, Pa.

 

Paul Chapa

Paul Chapa

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