In 2023, we saw a growing need to remind shoppers why organic matters, and to help our growers and customers increase sales. Inflation forced people to make tough choices about where to spend and save, and ‘regenerative’ is a hot topic that added complexity and some confusion, holding back trust in the organic seal and creating a barrier to growth.
Food industry and consumer studies and our own surveys proved there’s so much need for trustworthy, straight-forward info about organics. More and more shoppers care about how their food choices impact the planet and want healthy, sustainable food that matches their values. And many believe organic is higher quality and more nutritious but are confused about what “Organic” really means.
We set out with a modest budget of $50k and an ambitious goal to revive and build organic devotion by creating a PSA-inspired multi-channel awareness campaign to remind shoppers why organic matters, what it stands for, and why it’s worth it.
Beyond capturing hearts and minds, building a versatile educational toolkit and inspiring our customers, partners and eaters, here are the specific, quantitative goals we set out to achieve during the pilot launch:
- 500k paid media impressions
- 50k PR impressions
- 50% email open rate
- 500 webpage visits
- 50k social impressions
The Organic is the Answer campaign provides science-supported facts and resources designed to help people navigate the complexities of food certifications and labeling. The website is our campaign hub, it provides digital content and downloadable materials that are written in a simple, approachable tone and created to disrupt and inspire shoppers and support retailers in staff and shopper education. The campaign also launched across all channels including Digital, Email, Social, Experiential, Print, Out of Home, PR, Paid Media moments and more to reach the largest audience possible focused on the NW.
The initial campaign ran from October 1 to October 31 with sustaining elements through November and ongoing pulses planned seasonally and year over year. This is intended to be just the beginning of an evergreen effort to build awareness and demand.
Key features of the campaign execution
- This campaign offers messaging, assets and tools for anyone in the organic trade or community to use to spread awareness and grow the organic movement. It is open-source, evergreen and growing in offerings.
- The Organic is the Answer website is a unique, visually attractive and informative website created for this campaign as a living educational tool.
- An Organic is the Answer Instagram account shares key benefits of organic and invited consumers to “join the revolution” by competing in a “choose organic” challenge. Key posts were highlighted through paid promotion.
- Custom campaign merch collection includes a tote bag, trucker cap, bandana, temporary tattoo, wristband, wool socks and smart phone pockets. These items were seeded individually as well as packaged into “Organic Rebel Kits” for customers, advocacy allies and key partners.
- Toolkits that include educational resources for businesses, retailers or fellow eaters. These toolkits include things like email signatures, Zoom backgrounds, social media graphics, a poster and Point of Purchase signage, among other tools.
- Paid media in NW outlets and trade publications.
- Press release distributed to organic and produce trade media and targeted newsletters.
- Vibrant and attention-grabbing signage for delivery trucks.
- An engaging and educational newsletter.
- We also brought this campaign to trade shows and events.
- We faced the complexity of reaching people with varying degrees of understanding and knowledge of organic. To overcome this hurdle, we provided resources that met people where they’re at – we created materials for everyone from an organic novice to someone who’s been buying organic for years.
- We needed to speak to three different audiences – retail customers, the organic trade and end consumers. To achieve this goal, we tailored our messaging and items (like offering different toolkits for different audiences).
- As a B2B company, we don’t have an existing consumer-facing audience. So, we reached that audience from scratch by building a road to meet them where they are.
- We had a scrappy budget and a small team. We got creative to accommodate our limited resources by working with partners to get the messaging out, being strategic about our media placements and using bold and engaging materials.
The Organic is the Answer campaign is helping growers and customers increase sales and we're thrilled with how it's helping shoppers understand what “organic” means, how it aligns with their values and encourages them to choose organic.
Noteworthy wins to celebrate:
- The campaign messaging attracted massive attention within the national organic food trade with invitations to present, participate in round tables and collaborate with other organizations and brands.
- Some of the organizations using, sharing and repurposing the campaign materials or collaborating on messaging or projects:
- USDA National Organic Program
- General Mills Natural and Organic Brands
- Discovery Organics in Canada
- Clif Bar (Mondelez International)
- Some of the speaking opportunities and committee appointments:
- Organic Trade Association Marketing Panel and featured talks at their Sustainability and Produce Committees
- New Hope Network Inside Organic Roundtable
- Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) Organic Regenerative messaging committee
- Natural Products Expo West Do Big Things Panel (March '24)
- We far surpassed our reach, impressions and landing page views KPI goals with almost 2M total impressions across channels.
- Retailers, trade partners and organic brands are using, resharing and repurposing the toolkit content!
- We won a $250,000 grant from the USDA to use Organic Is the Answer to build demand for organic food produced in the Pacific Northwest. The grant will fund the continuation and expansion of campaign activations and engagement in 2024-2026.
- 1.96M paid media impressions
- 64.8K PR press impressions
- 65% email open rate
- 3.6k landing page views (9/25 - 11/30)
- 107k social impressions