Consumers have learned more – and consumed more – organic foods over the past few years. Yet, Rudi's Organic Bakery, a 32-year-old company in Boulder, CO, that began using organic ingredients in 1991, found that awareness about the bread category has not been elevated.
Based on market research conducted by the company, it worked with its firm, Linhart PR, on an educational and brand awareness campaign targeting moms.
Rudi's found that nine out of 10 moms were concerned with high fructose corn syrup, but only one in five knew it was a sweetener used in bread. Also, 87% of moms had unhealthy associations with high fructose corn syrup.
“When we were building the campaign, we did consumer research and we were really shocked that moms didn't know,” says Doug Radi, VP of marketing at Rudi's.
Armed with this information, the campaign used partnerships and events to get the word out to moms.
A lot of travel in Denver is done by car, so the team targeted radio stations, and forged a partnership with a local DJ for a supermarket event allowing moms to trade in their conventional bread for free Rudi's bread. It also took advantage of moms' weekly grocery trips and back-to-school preparations by staging additional events at supermarkets and farmer's markets.
“Helping moms learn that there are a lot of bread [options] on grocery shelves was crucial to the success of the program,” says Dawn Doty, VP at Linhart PR.
Pre- and post-campaign surveys show that awareness of Rudi's increased from 22% to 30% and awareness that conventional breads contain high fructose corn syrup went from 23% to 28%.
Rudi's also saw a 20% increase in sales and an increase in coupon redemption.
The company has yet to determine plans for 2009.
PR team: Rudi's Organic Bakery (Boulder, CO) and Linhart PR (Denver, CO)
Campaign: Rudi's Organic brand building and consumer education
Duration: June-October 2008