Dagoba eyes consumers in garden effort

ASHLAND, OR: Dagoba Organic Chocolate recently kicked off "Seed the Day," a new effort to connect consumers with the urban gardening movement and further Dagoba's brand messaging of eco-awareness.

ASHLAND, OR: Dagoba Organic Chocolate recently kicked off “Seed the Day,” a new effort to connect consumers with the urban gardening movement and further Dagoba's brand messaging of eco-awareness.

In its largest consumer push to date, Dagoba seeks to promote hands-on involvement with the ingredients of lavender, mint, and rosemary seeds found in its chocolate line. Maxwell PR, which was recently hired as AOR, will support the effort.

“We're not just selling chocolate, we're creating awareness,” said Liz Kaplan, associate marketing manager for Dagoba. “[The company] planted [60,000 cacao] seedlings in Costa Rica, and we wanted to inspire a similar effort in the [US].”

Through this effort, Dagoba hopes for consumers to “green” their communities by planting gardens and also becoming more aware of the local food movement centering on regional ingredients, said Kaplan.

The team will actively promote the program, slated to run through October, with events in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. Brand ambassadors from marketing firm MusicMatters will hand out samples and draw attention to the brand via a hand-carved trailer pulled by a bike.

A Web site, dagobaseedtheday.com, also offers a place to request herbal seeds, as well as a venue to share new “garden-inspired” flavor ideas and upload photos of consumer gardens for a chance to win a year's supply of chocolate.

Encouraging consumers to explore their own unique culinary pairings is another way to inspire more gardening efforts and interest in the environment, said Jennifer Maxwell-Muir, president of Maxwell PR.

While Dagoba will focus on out-reach to consumers, the company is also targeting bloggers who write about food and the environment, as well as consumer-focused titles.

Success will be measured by consumer response to handouts, experiential marketing events, and traffic to the Web site, Kaplan said.

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