“When looking for a firm to help me ramp up our Brand communications and take us to a new level, I’m sure glad to have found your team. From the beginning, I was quite impressed with not only your strategic thinking and guidance, but also your ability to put together great tactical plans. And, you have not disappointed … We completely surpassed even the most aggressive targets, and after many years of little exposure, you’ve help put the Rudi’s Organic Brand back on the map.”— Doug Radi, VP of Marketing
Charter Baking Company (Rudi’s Organic Bakery)
Rudi’s Organic Bakery – Improving Sales Through Education
In January 2008, research showed that nearly 75 percent of consumers had tried organic foods and nearly 30 percent were consuming them on a monthly basis. Nationwide, however, organic bread was only being consumed in 7 percent of households, and Rudi’s Organic Bakery had little more 1 percent of that market. In spring 2008, Linhart PR was challenged to increase awareness and sales of Rudi’s Organic products among Colorado consumers.
Linhart PR surveyed Colorado parents to benchmark consumer understanding of unhealthy ingredients in many conventional breads as well as Rudi’s Organic brand awareness. Our research indicated that while 60 percent of Colorado parents try to avoid high fructose corn syrup in their family’s diet, only 23 percent were aware that it is often included in their packaged sandwich breads, and less than 25 percent had even heard of Rudi’s. Armed with these facts, we executed an education campaign to highlight Rudi’s Organic as the Colorado-based, organic pioneer that has been baking breads with ingredients moms can feel good about for more than 30 years. We focused on three key tactics to reach target audiences: 1) a “Get Real Bread” event inviting shoppers to trade in their old breads for a free loaf of Rudi’s; 2) a partnership with The Lunchbox Tour, a food sampling tour to educate parents about packing healthy lunches for their children; and 3) media outreach against these events and editorial calendars.
Sales of Rudi’s Organic products increased 20 percent in Colorado during the education campaign – even amidst increasing commodity costs and a declining economy. Our outreach generated Colorado newspaper and TV coverage, including multiple live shots from Rudi’s Organic plant in Boulder, Colo., and Whole Foods locations. Over the course of our three-month campaign, we generated more than five million media impressions, and post-campaign results revealed a 22 to 30 percent increase in Rudi’s awareness with Coloradans with kids 12 years old or younger, and a 23 to 28 percent increase in knowledge regarding high fructose corn syrup. Most important of all, kids all across Colorado are now consuming a smarter, healthier diet!