Welch's enlists its farmers to win over untrusting millennial moms

Welch's wants millennial moms to know it is selling a quality product with heart health benefits and no added sugar, but it knew that message had to come directly from the farmers themselves.

CONCORD, MA: Welch’s has focused past marketing efforts on "heart health" and "no sugar added" product attributes. However, this time, the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative is sharing the real stories of the farmers who have been harvesting Concord grapes for generations.

Welch’s national campaign, Farmer Owned. Family Grown., features four unscripted farmer families with their own grape vineyards as the stars of 15- and 30-second spots. The campaign launched this week on TV; radio, video, display, paid search, and social efforts on the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels will roll out next week.

The aim of the spots is to capture the farmers’ heartfelt passion and pride for their craft, while highlighting the Concord grape’s unique taste and no sugar added and heart health benefits, which are similar to red wine, explained Stephen Potter, SVP and creative director at Genuine, Welch’s AOR.

Potter added that the farmers were not reading lines in the unscripted videos; they were only asked to talk freely about their craft. Four farmer families in the Finger Lakes region were initially profiled with plans to feature more of the 900 family farmers who own Welch’s.

Millennial moms, a group that particularly distrusts most juice brands, are the target demographic of the campaign, Potter said.

"Most juice is marketed straight to kids these days, and it is very sugary," he said. "There is a lot of distrust of it."

Welch’s wants millennial moms to know that it is selling a quality product with heart health benefits and no added sugar. But it knew its message had to come directly from the farmers.

"The farmers are the ones who understand what goes into their crops, turned it into distribution, and what goes into their juice, which is nothing but their grapes," said Potter. "Instead of just throwing it on the label or as a claim on the website, we have interviews with the farmers where they talk about how natural the product is and how proud they are to serve it to their families."

Welch’s launched its new website on Tuesday, prominently featuring the campaign and the farmer family profiles.

The organization also wants to clear up the misconception that it is "big food" and made from fruits shipped from South America, said Potter. In reality, Welch’s grows Concord grapes in small regions in microclimates throughout the U.S.

"Welch’s is owned by the farmer families that grow those grapes," said Potter. "When people buy the juice, they are contributing to the families that grow the grapes for Welch’s. There’s no holding company above Welch’s; it is a cooperative."

Genuine was recently named AOR for Welch’s after serving as its digital AOR in 2016 and working on The Mighty Concord campaign about the attributes of its fruit. Genuine is a marketing, advertising, and digital advisory agency focused on strategy, creative, technology, media, and analytics with headquarters in Boston and offices in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco.

The incumbent was The Via Agency.

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