UTS Library

Australian Lunch Week


Crossman Communications

PR Company: 

Sanitarium Health Foods

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2007 C9-7



Executive Summary: 

Sanitarium Lunch Today pioneered the shelf-stable, heat and eat lunch category in supermarkets in 2004, building support amongst busy women looking for a quick, nutritious lunch. Eighteen months on, awareness of Lunch Today and the category was low, consumers were concerned about the taste and health benefits of packaged meals and generally preferred to make their own lunch, buy takeaways or skip it altogether. Australian Lunch Week was staged from 8-14 May 2006 to capture the attention of busy people, position Sanitarium as leader in the lunch category, promote the importance of a healthy lunch and profile Sanitarium Lunch Today. The strategy comprised the development of six catchy lunch 'truths'; research about Australians' lunch habits and a nutritional analysis of popular lunches to attract news coverage; endorsement by key health organisations for credibility; high profile spokespeople to take the message to the target market through a proactive media program and corporate education and sampling events; and a purpose-built with free webinar as the hub of the education program. Lunch Week, Sanitarium and Lunch Today messages reached more than 11 million people through 74 print, broadcast and on-line media stories, 10 corporate events and 664 webinar downloads.

Situation Analysis: 

Sanitarium Lunch today pioneered the shelf stable, heat and eat category in supermarkets in 2004, building support amongst busy women wanting a quick nutritious lunch. Through novel technology Lunch Today offers delicious wholefood lunches prepared with the freshest ingredients just the way you would cook them at home, then flavour-sealed and steamed in a pouch without the need for artificial preservatives so they are ready to heat and enjoy at a moment's notice. However 18 months on, demand for the brand was hampered by a number of issues. Awareness of the product and category were low, consumers were concerned about taste and health benefits of packaged meals and generally preferred to make their own lunch, buy takeaways or skip it altogether. With limited marketing funds to build the brand, Sanitarium briefed in January 2006 to develop a PR campaign to work in tandem with an in-store push in May.


Market research undertaken as part of Sanitarium's ongoing brand tracking program showed:

  • Lunch was a meal easily dismissed due to busyness or laziness. Sandwiches and leftovers were seen as healthy lunch options, but most people opted for a quick takeaway meal due to lack of time.         
  • Sanitarium was mainly seen as a 'breakfast' and/or 'health food' brand.
  • Packaged meals were perceived as over-processed, plastic, tasteless and unhealthy.

    Qualitative research, undertaken by Crossman, showed reporters (both specialist and mainstream) were highly reluctant to cover product stories.

Target Policies: 

·         Consumers
o  Primary -women 25+ finding it difficult to fit a healthy lunch into their busy day because they are working or are busy mothers at home
o  Secondary -all busy adults looking for a quick, easy, tasty and nutritious lunch on the run
·          Third party influences
1.      o  Organisations promoting health and nutrition
·          Media
                        o  Food, health, lifestyle, grocery trade and marketing reporters at magazines and newspapers
                        o  Radio -news and talk
                        o  TV -news and lifestyle programs

Communication Strategy: 

Crossman created Australian Lunch Week (8-14 May 2006 to coincide with the planned in-store push), as the core strategy to provide a compelling, news-worthy platform to capture the attention of both news media and busy consumers and establish Sanitarium as the lunch category leader, clearly differentiating Lunch Today from other less healthy options and positioning it as quick, tasty and nutritious.

 To build event credibility, independent health organisations were brought on board as endorsers.

Inspiring, authoritative spokespeople, together with quirky research and nutritional analyses of popular (and unhealthy) lunches by Sanitarium's in-house Accredited Practising Dietitans, were used to gain media and consumer cut-through.

Six catchy truths about lunch were developed to promote the benefits of lunch, a was created as the information hub for the campaign and a program of corporate speaking engagements and sampling events undertaken to take the message and the product to the target market in their own environments.


Logo -A creative Australian Lunch Week logo was developed to provide visual recognition, credibility and consistency to the program (see Appendix A -website).

Lunch Truths -Six key 'truths' about the importance of eating a healthy lunch every day were developed for use throughout the campaign (see Appendix A -website).

Third Party Research -ACNeilsen research was undertaken to quantify lunch habits including frequency of lunch skipping and what people were actually eating. Sanitarium dietitians then analysed the nutritional content of the most popular lunch items (with hot chips, burgers and pies top favourites) and determined what people would need to do to work them off. This information formed the basis of comprehensive media kits which included the role of Lunch Today (see Appendix A –website,media coverage and DVD).

Third Party Endorsement -Lunch Week endorsement was secured from Nutrition Australia and Fitness Australia. Logos and names were used on communications material, key representatives attended the media launch and mutual links were set up (see Appendix A -website).

-Lunch Week endorsement was secured from Nutrition Australia and Fitness Australia. Logos and names were used on communications material, key representatives attended the media launch and mutual links were set up (see Appendix A -website).

Inspiring, Credible Spokespeople -High profile spokespeople were engaged to convey the importance of lunch, plus the health, taste and convenience benefits of Lunch Today (see Appendix A – website,media coverage, corporate education & sampling events and DVD):

.         Dr John Tickell-author of the Great Australian Diet, star of Overhaul on Nine and motivational speaker (health)
·         Kerryn McCann -Melbourne Commonwealth Games Marathon Gold Medallist (March 06 so very top-of-mind) and mother of two (consumer)
·         Michael Moore -celebrity chef on Mornings With Kerri-Anne, Executive Chef at The Summit and recipe consultant for Lunch Today (foodie)

Website—www.lunchweek.com.au was developed as the information base for Lunch Week and Lunch Today (see Appendix A). A webinar was filmed immediately prior to the media launch, featuring Dr John Tickell, Kerryn McCann, Michael Moore and Sanitarium executive Brad Cook, for download from the Endorsing organisations' logos and links were also included (see Appendix A –website-showing link to webinar).
Lunch Week Fliers -Nutritional fliers promoting Lunch Week and Lunch Today were produced and handed out at in-store sampling and promotional events coinciding with Lunch Week (see Appendix A).
Proactive Media Program -A proactive media program commenced as soon as the ACNeilsen research and media kits were finalised on 4 April. Targets included women's, health, fitness, parenting and employment magazines, newspaper food and health pages, television and radio programs, grocery trade and marketing media (see Appendix A -media coverage and DVD).
Media Launch -Lunch Week was officially launched to media and key health and nutrition stakeholder groups on 4 May at a special lunch event at The Summit in Australia Square with chef Michael Moore in charge of catering (see Appendix A -media coverage and DVD). The menu included a selection of Lunch Today meals garnished and served to restaurant quality. ACNeilsen research was revealed and all ambassadors spoke on a relevant topic:
·          Why a healthy lunch -Dr Tickell
·          Life as a busy mum and where lunch fits -Kerryn McCann
·         How Lunch Today is produced for maximum taste -Michael Moore

Media kits and product samples were provided in a high quality branded paper lunch bag.

Corporate Speaking Events -Major businesses with plenty of women employees were offered free appearances by campaign ambassadors to address employees and Lunch Today sampling during Lunch Week (see Appendix A -corporate education & sampling events). Michael Moore personally cooked Lunch Today meals at his speaking engagements.


Total Audience Reach (see Appendix A -media coverage summary)

.         In excess of 11 million (using print circulation,not readership which would take it significantly higher)

Media Exposure (see Appendix A -media coverage and DVD)
·         19 reporters from magazines, newspapers, radio and television attended the launch event (with very positive feedback received, especially on choice of restaurant, food and guest speakers).
·         74 media hits (newspaper, magazine, television, radio and on-line) were recorded with an audience reach of more than 11 million.
·         High quality media coverage was achieved with an average message rating of 4 out of 5. Almost all stories mentioned Lunch Week, Sanitarium and the importance of a healthy lunch. Around a third included Lunch Today, an excellent result.
·         Highlights included high profile and radio segments, major newspaper features and magazine product and calendar stories.

Webinar (see DVD)
·         664 unique viewers downloaded 100% of the webinar from   www.lunchweek.com.au

Corporate Education & Sampling Events (see Appendix A)

·        10 speaking events were secured during Lunch Week at major organisations including Telstra, Pfizer, Ernst & Young, MBF, ING, Hudson, AMP and Women in Finance.

·         More than 8000 people received information about these events, with approximately 1200 hearing one of the three spokespeople in person and sampling Lunch Today.
 .        Feedback from each event was excellent, with organisations asking for more similar opportunities (Lunch Today was provided to MBF for an employee Health Fair in South Australia later in the year). Product sampling was extremely well received.

Endorsement by Organisations Promoting Health & Nutrition (see Appendix A
·        -Campaign endorsement including cross promotion achieved with Nutrition Australia and Fitness Australia.

·        Representatives from Fitness Australia, Nutrition Australia, Dietitians Association of Australia, Australian Consumers Association and National Heart Foundation attended the launch event.


The campaign successfully raised awareness of Sanitarium as leader in the lunch category, the importance of a healthy lunch and Lunch Today as a tasty, nutritious, convenient lunch option.

 The campaign out-performed almost every one of the key measurable objectives as demonstrated in the following table.

Measurable Objective
Performance Against Objective

Achieve a minimum of 50 positive stories in the news media including at least one television piece.

74 stories were achieved in newspaper , magazine, television, radio, and on-line media.

Five TV segments were generated:

  • Ten Network News (evening)
  • Ten Network News (late night)
  • Sky News Health Report (Screened twice)
  • Mornings with Kerrie-Anne on Nine Network.

In addition to Sydney Morning Herald packaged an A/V piece at the launch (including vox-pops of people in the street about what they had for lunch and ran it on their website.)

Over -achieved objective by 24 stories

Over-achieved objective by four TV segments .

Additional TV style on-line segment on SMH website

Reach at least 5 millioin consumers with positive messages.

Audience reach from media program alone was in excess of 11 million.

A further 8000 received communications as part of the corporate education program and thousands more visited the website with 664 unique viewers downloading  100% of the webinar.

The average message rating from media coverage was 4 out of 5.

Over achieved objective by more than 6 million consumers.

Attract at least 15 food, health  and trade reporters to a Lunch Today media event.

19 reporters from TV, radio, magazines and newspapers attended the event.

Over-achieved objective by four reporters.

Very positive feedback received by those who attended.

Gain third party endorsement from key health organisations.

Endorsement secured from Nutrition Australia and Fitness Australia.

Representatives from Dietitians Association of Australia, National Heart Foundation and Australian Consumers Association attended the launch adding credibility to the campaign.

Objective achieved.

Sample Lunch Today with at least 1000 consumers in their work environment.

1200 consumers received a Lunch Today sample during 10 corporate education events.Chef Michael Moore personally cooked Lunch Today meals at his speaking engagements. Feedback from each event was excellent.

Out-performed objective by 200 consumer samplings.

A further 500 people were sampled at an MBF Employee Health Fair in South Australia later in the year following a successful event in Sydney