What is in this article?:
- Supplier Leadership Award 2012 Winner for Integrated Marketing: ConAgra Foods
- A Growing Relationship
Starting out as a straightforward plan to promote back-to-school meals, the Meal Maker Challenge has quickly grown to become an August tradition for ConAgra Foods and H-E-B, for which SN awarded ConAgra the Supplier Leadership Award for Integrated Marketing.
What started out as a straightforward plan to promote back-to-school meals has quickly grown to become an August tradition for ConAgra Foods and H-E-B.
Now in its third year, the Meal Maker Challenge recruits bloggers who, in turn, enlist the support of their followers as they try to outdo one another in developing quick, family-friendly recipes that use select ConAgra products.
This year, the month-long contest rounded up 10 Texas-based food bloggers chosen by the retailer. The featured products changed weekly: Egg Beaters (week 1), followed by Hebrew National Hot Dogs (week 2), Peter Pan Peanut Butter (week 3) and a Chef Boyardee canned pasta product (week 4).
“Back to school is a key time when looking at ConAgra’s brands, like our Peter Pan peanut butter, our Hunt’s snack packs,” said Julie Gressett, the ConAgra national account manager assigned to H-E-B. “We have some big brands that tie in well to this time of year.”
The pairing of ConAgra and H-E-B created multiple consumer contact points. The contest was plugged through social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, as well as online through a microsite linked to the H-E-B home page. It received prominent mentions on ConAgra’s The Dish, a website created specifically to provide recipe and cooking tips to food bloggers. Weekly circulars and ConAgra ads in H-E-B’s in-house magazine Texas Life added a print element.
In stores, the featured ConAgra products are discounted as part of the H-E-B Combo Loco Deals program, which bundles a free companion product with purchase of a promoted item. So, during the week the bloggers were developing recipes using Peter Pan Peanut Butter, the Combo Loco Deal included a free jar of H-E-B store-brand jelly.
“It really helps to make that connection with the shopper when she or he needs it, when they’re looking for options, for recipes and things like that,” said Brenda Hazell, ConAgra shopper marketing manager who worked on the contest. “It also allows us to position our products as key players during this season, and the different things they can do with them.”