CAMPAIGNS: Consumer PR - Camron helps exotic eaterie to raise profile

The Edible brand was established four years ago by 26-year-old entrepreneur Todd Dalton. As a pioneer in importing and marketing exotic and unusual foods, Dalton has - through mail-order and retail outlets including Selfridges Food Hall - introduced UK palates to such delicacies as chocolate-covered scorpions and worm-flavoured lollipops. Last month, with help from Camron PR, Dalton launched an Edible shop, restaurant and bar in London's Exmouth Market.

Here diners can experience the likes of rattlesnake spring-rolls, 'Kentucky'-fried bullfrog and red ant mashed potato, all washed down with stinging-nettle cocktails, snake wine or Civet cat coffee.

Objectives

To launch Edible as a restaurant, bar and shop and establish the venue as a must-try for both locals and tourists. Dalton was also keen to reinforce his mail-order business and convey his commitment to animal conservation and welfare.

Strategy and Plan

With serious foodies the number one target audience, Camron PR sent out press releases to the specialist food press and the consumer correspondents on the broadsheets and in the broadcast media. These outlined Dalton's credentials as a trained chef and his intention to donate some of Edible's profits to animal-protection charities.

In addition, Camron negotiated coverage from the consumer correspondent for the Press Association, ensuring the story went out on the wires to regional media.

However, aware that the novelty value of the Edible products would generate interest from the tabloids, the PR team also focused on giving journalists details of the more challenging dishes on the menu, made from zebra, crocodile, piranha, yak and giant hornets.

Measurement and Evaluation

Edible gained substantial coverage from the national press, including The Guardian and the Independent on Sunday, plus a double-page spread in The Sun.

In addition, the regional media carried the story, most notably in London, where both Metro and the Evening Standard ran full features and the venue appeared on the BBC's London news programme.

Edible also attracted international TV coverage from Reuters and broadcasters from Germany, Mexico and Japan. Broadcast coverage is still ongoing, with the BBC's Blue Peter and Newsround keen to feed the rare fare to young viewers.

Results

As Edible had only just opened as PRWeek went to press, it is too early to say how popular the venue is with ordinary diners, however interest is expected from City workers. Despite Dalton's assurances that 99 per cent of the animals on the menu are 'captive-bred for the food market from sustainable sources', the venture has generated some criticism from animal welfare groups.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare is concerned that Edible's legal import operation will create loopholes for illegal activity and possible health risks for customers.

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