Highlights from this Fall’s Canadian Lentils promotional activities
In the area of market promotion, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) is increasing consumer demand for lentils, through showcasing the versatility and health attributes of lentils to a group of key consumer and influencer audiences identified as bloggers, culinary professionals, and dietitians.
Operating under SPG’s promotional brand Canadian Lentils, SPG staff executed a number of activities in the Fall of 2014 targeted to these influencer audiences.
In early October, Canadian Lentils sponsored the Blissdom Canada blogger conference for the third consecutive year. The conference, targeted to female bloggers across the country, attracted over 400 of Canada’s top bloggers and social media experts.
Canadian Lentils hosted a reception at Blissdom, where bloggers were invited to attend a lentils themed carnival where the focus was the benefit of protein in lentils, linking this benefit to strength and power. Guests were invited to taste a variety of lentil filled carnival snacks including pretzels, cupcakes, corn dogs, and burgers, and then test their strength levels on a number of different strength-testing carnival games.
The event generated strong social media support from attendees. During the event, over 664 tweets mentioned Canadian Lentils, which reached an estimated 575,074 Twitter accounts, and made an estimated 2.32 million impressions (the number of times these Tweets mentioning Canadian Lentils showed up on Twitter).
American Dietitian’s Conference and Expo
The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics hosted their annual Food and Nutrition Conference (FNCE) in Atlanta, Georgia October 19-21. Canadian Lentils was one of over 350 exhibitors at this years’ event, where the emphasis at the Canadian Lentils booth was focused on showcasing the versatility of lentils. This year, unique recipes were prepared as samples for attendees, such as a Lentil Marinara Sauce served with pasta, and Sprouted Lentil Granola with Yogurt (recipes are online at lentils.ca). As a new focus this year, Canadian Lentils promoted food products made with lentils that are available at grocery stores, including Cheerios Protein and Breton Gluten-Free Crackers, offering samples of each. In addition to food samples, attendees also snapped up over 2,500 copies of the most recent Lentils For Every Season recipe magazine (sign up to receive to your inbox at lentils.ca).
As part of a strategy to attract continued attention to the Canadian Lentils booth on the fourth year as exhibitors, Canadian Lentils engaged Celebrity Chef Marcus Sameulsson, known for his work on the Food Network and ABC’s food competition show The Taste, as a brand ambassador. Attendees were invited to pose for a photo with Chef Marcus on a Canadian Lentils red carpet, and were given a custom lentils recipe that Chef Marcus had developed for the event.
Food Bloggers of Canada Conference
Canadian Lentils was pleased to be the title sponsor of the second annual Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, hosted in Vancouver, B.C, on October 17-18. The conference brought together 150 members of Canada’s only blogging community that is dedicated 100 per cent to food.
As title sponsor, lentils appeared in a variety of menu items throughout the conference that were prepared by well known Chef Ned Bell of the Four Seasons Vancouver. Some of these dishes included: mac and cheese with a lentil crust, a lentil and bacon mixture that served as a bed for salmon, and for attendees with a sweet tooth, an assortment of lentil cookies.
Lentil Hunter on Food Network Canada
On October 10, Food Network Canada aired a one-hour documentary developed from the Canadian Lentils: Lentil Hunter web series. The documentary, also titled Lentil Hunter, combined the footage from the five webisodes launched in May of 2014, which showcased Canadian celebrity chef and Canadian Lentils brand ambassador Chef Michael Smith travelling the globe in search of countries consuming lentils as part of a regular diet. The series was designed to showcase the global appeal of lentils to Canadians, bringing home recipes from each country that were adapted for ease in Canadian kitchens.
To tie the individual stories from each country together, new footage was obtained for the purpose of the documentary, and brought profile to Canadian lentil farmers, as Chef Michael Smith visited a Saskatchewan lentil farm family, sharing the recipes and stories of his travel.
Just over 55,000 people tuned in for the one-hour documentary, which is now available for viewing viewing online at www.youtube.com/cdnlentils.