Bakers Delight and The Chia Company shared a vision to bring the nutritional benefits of the Chia seed to Australian consumers daily. This vision was realised through the development of a range of Chia bread now available through 650 Bakers Delight bakeries across Australia and New Zealand.
The partnership between The Chia Company and national bakery network Bakers Delight also meant that the production of Chia in the Ord River region would double in 2010 and benefit ongoing development of the industry.
To launch the new Chia bread, Keep Left PR developed a two-fold strategic media approach. One focused on Bakers Delight’s support of the Australian farming and agricultural industry and targeted business and rural reporters. The second focused on aligning Bakers Delight with a healthy lifestyle and target the female consumer in the back to school period.
Innovation in product development is a core Bakers Delight objective. The team continue to investigate new ingredients and develop products, to meet the trend towards healthy living and the needs of consumers.
On researching ‘ancient grains,’ Bakers Delight came across the Chia seed. First used by the Aztecs, the seed was found to provide a unique range of nutritional benefits that are currently lacking from the average Australian diet.
During an international health summit, Bakers Delight’s supply team met with The Chia Company, the world’s largest grower of Chia Seed grown in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. After developing, testing and trialling a White Chia Bread, a supply partnership was forged in January 2010 by The Chia Company and Bakers Delight, allowing consumers to reap the health benefits of this seed through daily baked Chia bread.
Bakers Delight is an iconic Aussie brand focused on authentic, natural methods. This alignment with The Chia Company, Australian growers of an all natural seed, presented a perfect fit.
The campaign was supported with an above the line campaign including a TV advertisement and in-store collateral. The below the line campaign had to serve two purposes, the first was to announce the partnership between Bakers Delight and The Chia Company and the second was to launch the bread to consumers.
The Chia Company provided extensive information on the benefits of Chia and The Chia Company’s vision, strategy and development. This included details of the businesses innovative approach to sustainable farming, environmental practices, the nutritional profile of the product and its commitment to premium quality supply practices.
Keep Left PR also conducted a discovery session with the Founder and Managing Director of The Chia Company, John Foss. In this session, Keep Left PR went into further detail about the product, media connections, background to the Ord River region and the relationship with Bakers Delight. Strong messages around the innovation of the farming industry, the health benefits of Chia and the impact of Chia on the agricultural sector in Western Australia resulted.
Bakers Delight engaged Sharon Natoli, Director of Food & Nutrition Australia and an Accredited Practising Dietitian, to assist in testing and developing strong health claims that could be incorporated into media materials.
To develop the strategic approach, Keep Left PR also conducted a media analysis to establish what stories had already been written about the Ord River Region and the Governments investment. It was important for the business story to target journalists that had been covering this story. A similar approach was conducted for the consumer media.
The key audience were parents who care about the health of their children. Specifically, primary female grocery buyer age 24 -54. Benefits of the product to children were communicated to this market.
The secondary audiences are the business and stakeholder targets. This included:
• Existing and potential franchisees: Demonstrating how Bakers Delight differentiates itself from other franchise opportunities.
• Business/government: Raise the profile of Bakers Delight and the partnership with Chia.
• Health stakeholders: To disseminate messages to the health community about the nutritional profile of the Chia bread.
The strategic approach was developed taking into consideration campaign objectives, research conducted and target audiences. This approach was developed to:
• Position Bakers Delight as bringing the health benefits of Chia to the everyday grocery buyer through relevant and newsworthy media communications.
Keep Left PR managed the media outreach and planning, which was a multi-tiered approach and required strict timelines to coincide with the product appearing in Bakers Delight bakeries. Message development planning was a key focus due to the two completely different media approaches.
• Leverage the partnership with The Chia Company by streamlining materials to align messaging for communications.
Regular planning sessions and ongoing discussions with The Chia Company were undertaken to ensure all messaging was consistent and the partnership was leveraged effectively via the media materials.
• Demonstrate the success of Chia as an Australian crop and Bakers Delight’s role in supporting this success.
Keep Left PR worked through the agricultural messages with Bakers Delight and The Chia Company, to craft a strong business story highlighting the benefit to Australian farmers and the agricultural industry that appealed to journalists.
• Add credibility by partnering with Food and Nutrition Australia as a supporter of this new product referencing new research findings to establish a news hook.
Stage 1: Background planning and preparation
Keep Left PR developed a suite of communications materials that were tailored for each of the target journalists. This included a media release, background on The Chia Company, a selection of available images and spokesperson biographies.
The media releases developed included tailored versions for:
• Health and food consumer journalists
• Agriculture and business journalists
• Early general news
Other materials that needed to be prepared prior to launch included:
• Audio News Release: To increase the result of strong radio coverage and investment was made into the development of an Audio News Release. All spokespeople were interviewed prior to the launch to create short news grabs that could then be distributed to all radio news stations along with the media materials.
• Issues management: The development of a questions and answers document, utilised on an as need basis for difficult questioning.
• Stakeholder engagement: Key health professionals were targeted to raise awareness of the health benefits of the Chia seed, driving trial and providing health related material. Additionally, key political stakeholders were engaged in the lead up to the campaign and during a parliamentary launch at Government House in Canberra on 17 March 2010.
• Media briefings: Due to the number of parties involved with the two media stories a series of planned media briefings were required to fully prepare all spokespeople, including John Foss, Founder and Managing Director of The Chia Company, Chris Caldwell General Manager at Bakers Delight and Sharon Natoli, nutrition consultant from Food and Nutrition Australia.
• Product drop management: A list of targeted consumer food and health journalists was developed to receive exclusive product delivery of the new Chia bread to drive trial and interest. The drop included the freshly baked bread and a packet of the Chia seeds.
Stage 2: Media engagement
Timing was critical with the dissemination of messages to media as the story needed to be released just prior to the product going on sale throughout all 630 bakeries across Australia.
The priority was securing TV broadcast coverage via current affairs shows and so the story was pitched exclusively to one of the network’s first week commencing 18 January. Following this the consumer health story was released to key metro health journalists the week commencing 25 January 2010. Product drops to food and health journalists at women’s health and lifestyle glossy magazines, newspaper magazines and food and health supplements occurred the same week.
The Audio News Release and Early General News distribution was set for the day of the launch of the Chia bread in bakeries, Thursday 28 January.
The business agricultural angle did not require such strict timelines as the story had a different focus and so the media release was pitched to key metro journalists the first week of the campaign launch, 18 January. This was further expanded in Western Australia with a concentrated effort due to The Chia Company’s farms being located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. In addition to metro journalist outreach, pitching was conducted to radio, TV, regional and local newspapers.
Following persistent follow up with the TV current affairs shows, a story was developed around the Chia bread launch for Today Tonight on 24 February towards the end of the campaign. This included interviews with John Foss, Managing Director of The Chia Company, Chris Caldwell, General Manager at Bakers Delight and an independent Accredited Practicing Dietician, Emma Stirling.
In total, 51 pieces of coverage have been achieved to date, reaching over 2.4 million people with messages that introduced Bakers Delight’s new Chia range. The coverage reinforced the company’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of Australians and demonstrated its support of the Australian farming and agricultural industry.
The Chia campaign received an excellent response from media, with 100 per cent of all coverage being positive in tone. Over 50 per cent of coverage featured an image, most which were in colour, and many featured more than one picture.
The Chia story also featured in daily metro newspapers in four states including The West Australian, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and Courier Mail.
Thirty seven per cent of coverage was online, including news sites such as Weekly Times, ABC Rural, Farm Weekly and Yahoo!7, franchising trade publications and on a health blog by nutritionist Emma Stirling.
The most significant coverage was received on the television show Today Tonight, in which a five minute story was aired in four states including New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia and included an interview with John Foss and Chris Caldwell. The Chia Company and Bakers Delight worked cohesively on the Today Tonight piece resulting in 1.4million viewers, making it the highest rating show for that timeslot.
Results indicate the campaign was effective in enhancing Bakers Delight’s health credentials, while reinforcing the health benefits of the product.
• Contribute $1M incremental sales across the network within the campaign timeframe.
Over $1.9M incremental sales were achieved as a result of Chia products sold during the campaign period, substantially surpassing campaign objectives. More than 235,000 Chia White Block loaves were sold alone.
• Contribute to 2 per cent of total sales for network within campaign timeframe.
Chia bread sales accounted for 3.9% of total sales.
The campaign created wide spread consumer awareness through the consumer media coverage, which positioned Bakers Delight as a leader in providing healthy products and highlighted all the nutritional benefits of the product.
The partnership also resulted in a major impact on the Australian agricultural industry. Chia seeds have emerged a viable crop option for Stage 2 of the State and Federal Government’s $415 million investment in the Ord river irrigation development that was strongly supported by the national supply partnership.
The success of the campaign and ongoing success of Bakers Delight Chia Bread will see the production of Chia in the Ord River region double in 2010.