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Agrimarketing : June 2008
40 AgriMarketing ¦ June 2008 B eginning in 2006, the foodser- vice industry underwent signif- icant changes in an effort to keep up with consumer demand for healthier offerings. This included the battle against trans fats, which escalated from merely a murmur to a full-blown public health war. Research describ- ing the harmful effects of trans fat was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and led to numerous third-party organizations calling for decreased consumption among consumers. Dow AgroSciences realized Omega-9 Oils, made from their spe- cially-bred Nexera canola and sun- flower seeds, were a perfect solution for foodservice providers and their customers concerned about the dan- gers of trans fat. An integrated com- munications campaign, including media relations, selective trade advertising, educational materials, industry meeting education sessions, and digital communications, became a critical vehicle to effectively inform restaurant owners and foodservice directors that a solution was avail- able to help them deliver healthier foods without compromising taste or performance. “Dow AgroSciences had been developing these oils for ten years, so once the restaurant industry began their conversion, the supply was avail- able,” said David Dzisiak, Global Leader Oils, Dow AgroSciences. “Our communications objective became how to educate restaurant decision- makers about the taste, performance, health aspects, and availability of Omega-9 Oils, creating demand within the market.” Integrated marketing communi- cations firm Fleishman-Hillard, led by the Kansas City office, in coopera- tion across their global network with colleagues in the Toronto, St. Louis, and Austin offices, coordinated the campaign intended to create aware- ness and demand through an inte- grated communications campaign and strategic partnerships. TRIGGERS FOR RESTAURANT DECISION-MAKERS Though restaurant owners said they were concerned with the health of their foods, they were unsure that new oils could match the taste and cost benefits offered by the partially hydrogenated oils they currently were using. Prior to developing a program that would resonate with key restau- rant decision-makers, Fleishman- Hillard conducted primary research to understand the details of restau- rant owner oil purchasing habits, familiarity with oil alternatives, and factors that would influence their decision to convert to healthier oil in their kitchens. This research helped shape each element of future communications. Nearly nine out of ten restaurant decision-makers (87%) said they would consider changing frying oils if they knew it could decrease trans and saturated fats without compro- mising taste or cost. 83% of decision-makers say they would likely try a new oil contingent that it would “perform well at high temperatures and have a 50% longer fry life, allowing food-service deci- sion-makers to lower oil costs.” “These results showed that in addition to reliable supply, health, taste, and cost-effectiveness were the three predominant factors most likely to influence foodservice deci- sion-makers’ preferences when it comes to selecting a deep-frying oil,” said Dzisiak. “This research was vital in developing our primary key messages, helping to differentiate Dow’s Omega-9 Oils from others on the market.” DIFFERENTIATING OMEGA-9 OILS As the foodservice market searched for alternatives to the partially hydrogenated oils used in their deep-fryers, it was important to dif- ferentiate the healthier Omega-9 Oils from other solutions on the market, while also raising their profile in the market. Further, with four separate oil partners selling these oils as their own branded product, it was impor- 2008 NAMA’S BEST OF SHOW: PUBLIC RELATIONS REMOVING TRANS FAT FROM AMERICA’S MENU by Fleishman-Hillard’s Mark Crouser, Melissa Novak, and Dave Katzer Pictured are the team members involved in developing the Omega-9 Oils campaign (front, l to r) Maggie Mason, Fleishman-Hillard; Elisha Priebe, Dow AgroSciences; Mora Thompson, Fleishman- Hillard and Erin Hull, Dow AgroSciences. (Back row, l to r) David Katzer, Mark Crouser, and Melissa Novak all of Fleishman-Hillard.
July August 2008
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08