"We're leveraging National Panini Month with new product introduction through traditional and nontraditional communication activities," said Stephanie Scholz, core marketing manager for Sargento. Three new varieties in the natural sliced cheese line were introduced in January, she said, and the company announced its plans for National Panini Month on July 6.
With a target audience of women ages 35 to 54, Sargento and its AOR Wheatley & Timmons did long-lead media relations outreach earlier in the year, targeting women's interest and food and culinary publications. Denton participated in interviews then, and is currently working with the company on short-lead media outreach, targeting daily newspapers, trade publications, and online outlets.
Sargento and Denton also attended Food Fete, a gourmet food and beverage press event, in June to meet with key media and provide samples of the new cheeses and Panini recipes. Online, Sargento's Web site includes recipes and tips, as well as a downloadable Panini calendar, which includes 31 days of Panini recipes.
"We recognize that consumers are eating more at home these days and are much more conscious about the products they are purchasing," Scholz said, "so through this program, we are also highlighting the benefits of creating delicious Panini and grilled sandwiches [at home]."