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Dec. 2013 Issue: NFRA SPARKS INTEREST IN DAIRY AISLE

Campaigns focus on changing consumer perceptions of the many diverse refrigerated items in the dairy aisle.

(Photo: www.canstockphoto.com)

According to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association’s (NFRA’s) recent consumer survey, the attributes that matter most when preparing a meal are taste (71%), affordable options (68%) and wholesome ingredients that fit into a well-balanced lifestyle (65%). Foods in the dairy aisle — including not only milk and cheese but a wide variety of products — certainly exemplify these qualities. Yet, most consumers overlook the aisle as a source of the diverse ingredients they need to bring their culinary vision to life.

 

To help change this perception, we partnered with Edelman (The Holmes Report’s 2013 Global PR Agency of the Year, and also our partner on the frozen food campaign), to launch a marketing/communications program. this effort shows consumers how the dairy aisle offers so much more than meets the eye — the creative, fun side to these foods are beyond cool and waiting to be unleashed.

 

JUNE DAIRY MONTH

 

The campaign kicked off around June Dairy Month, when we sparked conversation by creating a photo blog, the Dish Diary Tumblr, to showcase unique, mouthwatering dishes from the dairy aisle. We also partnered with the Daily Meal, one of the nation’s top recipe websites, to highlight new inspirational recipes using dairy ingredients through our own dedicated page, Meal Inspirations. Complementing the positive momentum was a partnership with the Mr. Food Test Kitchen Show, a 30-million national FSI and a $10,000 consumer sweepstakes.

 

Aida Mollenkamp, former Food Network star, cookbook author, chef and culinary expert, to tell our story and reach a broader audience. Aida has created a series of unique, innovative recipes that feature refrigerated products, which have been amplified via social media and interviews with Kitchen Daily and Parade.com. Additionally, we hosted a Foodies Night In (#FNI) Twitter Chat in conjunction with Cooking with Caitlin, where we shared our back-to-school video and reached more than 610,000 food and lifestyle-engaged consumers.

 

To further increase refrigerated dairy foods’ online visibility and relevance, we strengthened our digital and social media strategy. This has netted a 1,200% increase in Facebook likes and more than 400% increase in Twitter followers since January. We even made refrigerated dairy foods a worldwide trending topic on Twitter during a Resourceful Mom Twitter Chat in June — reaching more than 860,000 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.

 

These efforts have generated more than 42 million media impressions since May, but critical to continued growth of our reach is the participation of NFRA members. Brands have the predominant voice in media coverage and conversation surrounding the refrigerated aisle. 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 resources to amplify our messages, ultimately driving positive conversation and re-shaping consumer perceptions and behavior.

 

MUCH MORE TO COME

 

But we aren’t stopping there. Our early success is fueling upcoming programs as well, including a holiday Satellite Media Tour with Aida Mollenkamp, and sharing tips and recipes with consumers through a robust “30 Ways in 30 Days” celebration via social media. We’ll also be partnering with the Mom it Forward blogger community to extend holiday recipe ideas and participating in a Twitter chat. We were proud to present these early results at our recent convention in San Diego, and are eager to see where the campaign takes us in 2014 and beyond. For more information or to become involved, please go to www.nfraweb.org or call 717-657-8601.

 

– By 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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