York farm boosts sales of goats’ milk produce

St Helen’s Farm is the UK’s largest producer of goats’ milk, cheese and yoghurt, based in the Vale of York.

Campaign Thank Goodness For Goats!
Client St Helen's Farm
PR team MTJ Associates
Timescale January-September 2005
Budget £10,000-£15,000


The farm is owned and managed by Angus and Kathleen Wielkopolski, who have been rearing their herd since 1986.

To fight increasing competition from soya and other alternative milk products, the farm worked with Preston-based MTJ Associates to promote the benefits of a goats' milk diet.

Objectives
To build increased awareness of the St Helen's Farm brand and position the organisation's produce as the best alternative for people who have an intolerance to cows' milk. To make goats' milk newsworthy.

Strategy and Plan
To capture the attention of the media and consumers, MTJ Associates recruited customers from the farm's database who had seen positive benefits of switching to a goats' milk diet. Their experiences were formatted as case studies for regional press, and printed on the side of milk cartons.

To launch the campaign, MTJ Associates released the first wave of case studies to coincide with National Food Intolerance Week in January. This was followed up by further releases during National Allergy Week in May and National Eczema Week in September.

St Helen's Farm also launched its own awareness week in July, Thank Goodness for Goats!, involving a case study about two-year-old Charlotte McCann who, before switching to a goats' milk
diet, suffered digestive problems.

Measurement and Evaluation
According to in-house evaluation, there was a 90 per cent adoption rate of the case studies. This included articles  in 60 regional daily and weekly newspapers, including the Manchester Evening News, Lancashire Evening Post and Birmingham Evening Mail.

St Helen's Farm's Thank Goodness for Goats! week also attracted strong broadcast interest from regional radio and TV news stations, such as BBC South East, East Midlands Today and ITV Yorkshire.

Results
Sales of the farm's goats' milk increased by 25 per cent compared with the previous year. Sales of cheese and butter rose by 30 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

St Helen's Farm also reports that since the campaign, calls to its customer number have increased by 30 per cent to over 100 enquiries a week.

Biggleswade Chronicle reporter Mark Payne, who wrote a piece about local girl McCann, says the campaign was 'quirky'. He adds: 'The PR team ensured we had information to put Charlotte's story in the context of Thank Goodness for Goats! and St Helen's Farm.'

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