Superfoods can be a super drag. Why can't we have our fun and eat it too - and inspire a new generation of healthy eaters in the process?
CAULIPOWER arrived in stores 18 months ago, and since then it's been a rocket ship reimagining how we access nutritious superfoods - in pizza form. It was the first ready-to-make cauliflower-crust pizza, now the #1 gluten-free pizza in the US, and was built entirely on social and earned media. But if we wanted to grow an audience of ferociously engaged fans, we would have to make superfood nutrition fun, joyful and purposeful.
Back when CAULIPOWER was just a sprout of an idea for founder, Gail Becker, she asked renowned childhood health advocate, Kelly Meyer, founder of OneSun, if CAULIPOWER could help fuel a shared mission: to make healthy choices easier for families, starting with educating our children around the science of growing and cooking nutritious fruits and veggies. Kelly's work has led to the creation of nearly 500 edible Teaching Gardens in underserved schools across the country and every CAULIPOWER pizza sold is another step toward teaching kids to have a lifelong love of vegetables. We then translated that mission onto social channels, building a cult-like following of fans fighting for a vegetable revolution. #CAULIPOWERtothePeople
CAULIPOWER pizzas are an everyday reason to gather, so our social communities would be the same.
We served up tongue-in-cheek pizza topping ideas, nutritional comparisons, and "memes" sharing the absurdity of Pinterest-perfect expectations in today's busy world. With seasonal campaigns, we've galvanized the community around making healthy choices a celebratory event, like hosting a Pizza Day recipe contest for the pizza-obsessed, sharing a helpful series of holiday recipe cards based on the "12 Days of Christmas," incentivizing "taste-imonial" shares in January to help guide people on their New Year health journeys, rallying the community behind the creation of a cauliflower emoji, and, most recently, allowing our community to more directly engage with cause-partner, OneSun, by submitting photos, videos, or statements explaining why their child's school should be the next to receive a teaching garden.
The "Nominate Your School" campaign features a video starring real kids who represent a common problem: kids are left to fend for themselves when learning about healthy foods, even though studies have shown kids are more likely to make healthy eating choices when they're connected to where their food comes from. For every entry, CAULIPOWER has also promised to donate $1 to nutritional programs like OneSun in 2019. All of these campaigns were supported by influencer posts sharing moments when CAULIPOWER saved them from a crappy, calorie-loaded delivery meal, their (mostly vegetable-based) recipe creations, or that their favorite pizza is also their favorite way to contribute to increasing access to healthy foods - through growing the community of evangelists and supporting the OneSun mission with every purchase.
Today, OneSun programs not only teach kids to grow vegetables, but also to cook and enjoy the produce they grow. Infusing health education with the fun of cooking and developing their own recipes is a remarkable way to ensure kids don't just learn to eat right, but that they continue to make positive choices throughout their lives. From planting and harvesting to showcasing their culinary chops at a schoolyard "Farmer's Market" with items like jarred basil pesto, the initiative goes beyond a box of soil and into the local community and the students' futures: schools with teaching gardens report improved confidence and academic performance in their students. Each CAULIPOWER pizza sold marks a contribution to the installation of these edible teaching gardens in underserved schools and the implementation of school-backed plans to maintain the garden and culinary programming. Along with frequent visits to the gardens in Southern California at schools like Santee Education Complex and Kelso Elementary School, CAULIPOWER continues to share stories on the ground, helping to promote the message and works of OneSun in fun, unexpected ways.
150k fans across channels, teaching gardens planted, plotted and vegetables loved by grown ups and kids alike.
Community engagement on CAULIPOWER channels leaves the competition in the pizza crust dust. Particularly through the support of influencers (who always love the products!), the social community has been loud. They mimic the behavior of their favorite healthy foodies on Instagram by sharing dinnertime stories when CAULIPOWER came to the rescue, recipe posts with imaginative culinary creations, and (inspired by our memes), their CAULIPOWER-ful freezers, which they display with an embarrassed pride. The brand's tone shines through its fanbase – helpful, coming through in the clutch, and never taking the real life challenges of eating well too seriously.
When it comes to developing the next generation's healthy habits, the community reacted with purpose. In less than a week, more than 250 nominations were received from parents and community activists showing why their school deserves a teaching garden. Everything from childhood obesity concerns to having a small garden without any resources for upkeep, there's proof of a great need out there that these gardens are fulfilling.
CAULIPOWER has gone from an Amazon-only product to 12,000+ grocery stores in the US and Canada (and growing), quite literally bringing healthy food to the masses simply by answering the need for a pizza alternative with less calories, fat, sodium, and more protein, nutrients, vitamins, and the taste of a traditional pie - that happens to be gluten-free!