Lentils Market Development
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June 2015

SPG works to showcase versatility of lentils to dietitians across North America

This spring under the promotional brand Canadian Lentils, SPG participated in a number of dietitians’ events across North America with the intention of informing this key demographic about lentils.

In the area of market promotion, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) is working to increase 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.

This spring, under the promotional brand Canadian Lentils, SPG participated in a number of dietitians events across North America with the intention of informing this key demographic about lentils.

“By targeting dietitians with our messages specifically on the versatility of lentils, we are creating ambassadors for lentils that are very connected to consumers,” explains SPG’s Manager of Market Promotion Amber Johnson.

“We often hear from dietitians that they are aware of the health attributes of lentils, and are encouraging clients and patients to be eating more, but that the struggle of how to include them in everyday eating is an area that most consumers are not able to overcome.”

Part of SPG’s strategy for engaging with dietitians was to partner with the Dietitians of Canada as an official partner of Nutrition Month this past March. The theme for the month was Eating 9 to 5, an area where Johnson found lentils were easily integrated. “Working with the Dietitians of Canada, we were able to identify a number of lentil based recipes from our collection at lentils.ca, that were simple to prepare, stored well, and were easily transportable, to tie into the theme of eating healthy at the office or for kids, at school.”

These recipe ideas, along with health information about lentils, were shared with the Association’s members, and included as part of the national media campaign for Nutrition Month. “The media outreach (television, print, and online) resulted in over 54 million impressions in the month of March, which is the largest reach that Nutrition Month media has achieved in the past 25 years,” says Johnson, who is clearly happy with the results.

In addition to the month long campaign, SPG also took part in three regional dietitians conferences in the United States (U.S), with the hopes of building on the success SPG has experienced at the U.S. National Food and Nutrition Conference over the past four years.

Having participated in the Texas, California, and New York state conferences this spring, Johnson is confident that the planned participation in the Florida event this July will be just as successful.

“When we were are at the regional shows this spring, we would have attendees commenting that they remembered us from the national show, and then immediately ask what delicious food we were serving up at our tradeshow booth,” Johnson says with a smile. “It is great to see that connection being made in the dietitians’ minds between lentils and delicious food. It is in those moments that I can tell we are making headway.”

With the Canadian Lentils promotional brand being a newer area of investment for SPG, Johnson recommends that growers (and others) check out some of the tools SPG has developed to support the brand. “Our website is lentils.ca, and it is full of recipe ideas and videos on how to cook with lentils. We are also very active on social media including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.”

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