Campaign: Consumer brand launch
PR agency: Costa DeVault
Launch: May 7
Objective: For the past 70 years, tomato grower Lipman has been known primarily as a b-to-b supplier. Now the company wants to differentiate itself in the produce market with a consumer-focused brand and website.
“Before, we would sell to grocery stores, but shoppers wouldn't know where the tomatoes came from,” says Lipman marketing associate Jessica Kerstein. “It's important for them to know who we are.”
To accomplish that, the company enlisted 10 food bloggers to create original recipes from Lipman tomatoes.
Idea: Lipman's public-facing launch will tap into consumers' growing interest in the origins of their food, Kerstein says. The company will aim to educate shoppers about what differentiates its tomatoes from those of other brands.
“Consumers want a homegrown tomato and local is something we've always done,” she adds. “We're not just the big guy.”
Tools: The company contacted 15 food bloggers and asked them to create an original recipe from one of its tomato varieties and photograph it.
“The response was almost immediate and pretty overwhelming,” says Costa DeVault president Nathan DeVault.
The agency secured 10 bloggers, including Tina Haupert, author of Carrots ‘n Cake, and Julie Fagan of Peanut Butter Fingers. Each blogger received a box of tomatoes and had until April 30 to send Lipman their recipe and photos.
The company will publish the recipes on its new consumer website and Pinterest page. Following the site launch, Costa DeVault will reach out to national and local media outlets and use the company's Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote the recipes. They have also created a YouTube channel featuring videos of tomato farmers at work.
“Traditional PR methods are coming in second to social media,” DeVault explains. The company may also use some bloggers' recipes on its product packaging, he adds.
Measurement: Lipman will gauge success by product sales, website impressions, and social media interaction.