Conagra’s Prepared in Canada campaign capitalizes on Canadians’ wish to shop local
By Nithya CalebFood Trends Angie’s Boomchickapop Aylmer Tomatoes ConAgra food marketing Gardein Hunt’s Heirloom Tomatoes Pantry staples POGO Prepared in Canada VH Sauce
Earlier this Summer, Conagra launched the “Prepared in Canada” marketing campaign to highlight the diverse products the brand manufactures across Canada. Most of these products, such as VH Sauce and POGO, Gardein, Aylmer Tomatoes, Hunt’s Heirloom Tomatoes and Angie’s Boomchickapop are pantry staples. During the pandemic, pantry staples became popular due to an increase in home cooking. I spoke to Tebbie Chuchla, head of marketing at Conagra, about the campaign.
What’s the motivation for this latest “Prepared in Canada” campaign by Conagra?
TC: Over the past year, Canadians have become increasingly interested in shopping local and supporting their local economy, but the reality is we still need to buy many of our pantry staples from the supermarket and it can be hard to identify Canadian-produced products.
The Prepared in Canada program is meant to show Canadians the wide range of affordable, convenient locally prepared products – including classic pantry staples – to be found at their local grocery store. The program came to life through a compilation of PR, creative, media and shopper marketing initiatives.
What are goals of the campaign?
TC: Prepared in Canada focuses on making it easier for Canadians to find a range of affordable, convenient food products manufactured in Canada that they can use in everyday meals and snacking, or when exploring new recipes. The program is about celebrating how many of our most popular products are prepared right here at home.
We’ve seen, especially during the pandemic, that Canadians are increasingly interested in shopping local and supporting their local economy. As a company that prepares a variety of products right here in Canada at four facilities across the country, it was a great opportunity to help Canadians find locally prepared products and support their local economy, as part of their regular grocery shopping.
Where are Conagra’s facilities located? What does each one focus on?
TC: Conagra has four facilities located in Dresden, Ont., Richmond, B.C., Boisbriand, Que., and Toronto.
Products from VH Sauce and POGO are prepared in Quebec. Plant-based staples, such as Gardein, are prepared in British Columbia, and pantry must-haves, such as Aylmer Tomatoes, Hunt’s Heirloom Tomatoes and Angie’s Boomchickapop, are prepared in Ontario.
During the pandemic, the middle aisles filled with pantry staples were back in demand. Do you think this interest will be sustained in a post-pandemic world?
TC: We have seen a rise in sales on products that are made in Canada. Consumer desire for locally made is a result of supporting Canada’s economy through the pandemic and maintaining sustainable commerce in our environment. There is also a sustainability factor involved. According to Vividata from fall 2020, more than half of Canadians agree that they buy goods produced in their own country whenever they can.
There have been several recent studies that suggest Canadians are interested in buying more locally grown or Canadian-made foods. For example, research (conducted between January 8 and 12, 2021) by Farm Credit Canada found more Canadians are actively seeking out Canadian-produced food. Six out of 10 people are more likely to buy Canadian made or grown food.
The Prepared in Canada program is meant to show Canadians the wide range of affordable, convenient locally prepared products – including classic pantry staples – to be found at their local grocery store.
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