Retailer (1-49 stores):
Martin's Super Markets, Inc.
Program: Be a Family Meal Champ campaign
"Be a Family Meal Champ" campaign focused on saturating their entire market with the importance of family meals. Their Family Meals Champ challenge prompted customers to upload photos of their family meal masterpieces for a chance to win a $100 store gift card. Martin's stressed the importance of family meals by holding in-person cooking classes for parents and their children. Their dietitian discussed the benefits and challenges of family meals during three media segments, as well as reaching over 73,000 listeners on a morning talk show. Martins reached over 1,100 subscribers with their Eat Smart Be Well e-Newsletter, focusing on the importance of family meals and recipe inspirations and delivered their weekly ad email to almost 500,000 subscribers. Their digital marketing garnered more than 750,000 impressions on content and over a million weekly ad views.
Retailer (50-199 stores):
Program: Our Family, Building Strong Families campaign
SpartanNash focused on fostering family values with its “Our Family, Building Strong Families” campaign, garnering over 9.5 million measurable impressions through its extensive omnichannel marketing approach and different partnerships. SpartanNash created two different cookbooks, featuring family-friendly, culturally-inclusive recipes, that produced over 14,000 impressions. They took National Family Meals Month™ one step further by creating their own independent 3-month movement, expanding their reach and providing 2,000 independent retail stores with a free digital marketing package. Their partnership with social media influencer, three-time paralympic athlete and mom of two, Melissa Stockwell, gained them a reach of 20,000 followers with 4.5 million impressions through family meal hacks and recipe posts. SpartanNash utilized billboards, dietitian approved dump bins, in-store signage, email blasts, and e-commerce websites to amass over 5.4 million impressions during the month.
Retailer (200+ stores):
Program: Hy-Vee, Inc. celebrated National Family Meals Month™ with special events, including live cooking demonstrations, cooking guides, KidsFit programs, and an omnichannel marketing campaign, that promoted the foods of various cultures and mealtime traditions to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Hy-Vee, Inc. celebrated National Family Meals Month™ with special events that promoted the foods of various cultures and mealtime traditions to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month. Through live cooking demonstrations, two downloadable cooking guides, KidsFit programs, and an omnichannel marketing approach, Hy-Vee excelled in bringing awareness to the importance of family meals. Their Begin 4 Families four-week program provided 210 families with one-on-one sessions with a Hy-Vee dietitian, teaching them positive ways to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle for their family. Furthermore, Hy-Vee strengthened its goal of bringing families together by supplying 2,000 meals over two separate events for families within their communities. Their campaign also included a media tour with Hy-Vee's chief medical officer Dr. Flick, including 26 interviews reaching over 30.1 million viewers, covering various topics including the importance of family meals on both mental and physical health.
Program: Eat Well Together to Be Well Together campaign
Pure Flavor’s “Eat Well Together to Be Well Together” campaign was strategically designed to bring awareness to the importance of family meals, both physically and mentally, by encouraging meal prep, family interaction, and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Each week Pure Flavor promoted new recipes, tips, and family meal facts, along with engaging three different targeted audiences in surveys, giveaways, and partnership interaction. They partnered with the Healthy Family Project, reaching over 20,000 e-newsletter subscribers and securing 94,000 impressions and 11,000 engagements between their combined social media accounts. Pure Flavor’s celebration of National Family Meals Month™ gained more than 436,000 impressions on social media and over 15,500 surveys completed, contributing further impact to improving family mealtime for their customers.
In addition to the award winners, the following six companies received honorable mentions for their 2022 National Family Meals Month campaigns:
Skogen's Festival Foods: Food for Neighbors program & Instagram Family Meals Livestream
Rouses Markets: Family Meals Month: We Are Family campaign in collaboration with the Kellogg Company
Weis Markets, Inc.: Celebrate Family Meals Month/Fight Hunger at Weis Markets campaign
Brookshire Grocery Company: Family Meals Month: Everyone Wins campaign
ButcherBox: ButcherBox Table Talks discussions
Merchants Distributors, LLC: Family Meals Made Easy campaign in collaboration with 40+ brands
New for 2022's Gold Plate Awards:
Blue Ribbon Recipients
In addition to ButcherBox; Hy-Vee, Inc.; Martin's Super Markets, Inc.; Pure Flavor®; Rouses Markets and SpartanNash Company, the following three organizations developed impactful programs that highlighted the mental health benefits of family meals:
Coborn's, Inc.: Perfect DUOS: Protein & Produce to Power Your Plate campaign
K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.: Stay Strong with Family Meals: Meals Made for Sharing campaign
Tops Markets: At Your Table campaign
Retailer 1 - 49 stores:
Skogen’s Festival Foods
Program: Food for Neighbors
Skogen’s Festival Foods celebrated National Family Meal Month™ by raising awareness and collecting over $40,000 for local food pantries through their “Food for Neighbors,” program. Skogen’s Mealtime Mentor dietitians hosted four live virtual cooking classes featuring family-friendly meals reaching 200 registrants with over 500 views.
Retailer 50 – 199 stores:
SpartanNash Company: Family Meals at Home
Program: Stay Connected, Stay Strong with Family Meals
Spartan Nash combined family mealtime conversations and mental health and well-being with their “Stay Connected, Stay Strong with Family Meals” campaign garnering over 64,000 impressions through their partnerships with mental health foundations. Their Kids Crew Program focused on bringing children and guardians together in the kitchen with kids learning new skills and parents learning how to connect through conversation. Over the four weeks, Spartan Nash had a total reach of 4.5 million individuals, 13,651 live viewers for their Family Meals Made Easy Facebook live, and 17,208 impressions from their Farmers Market Event.
Retailer 200+ stores:
Program: Hy-Vee, Inc. celebrated National Family Meals Month™ with special events that promoted the foods of various cultures and mealtime traditions.
This year, Hy-Vee gave away 2,100 meals with multicultural choices through their contactless, drive-thru meal giveaway events and $30,000 to food insecure families. Their Season’s magazine reached 620,000 individuals with eight pages full of recipes, pro tips, conversation starters for families and more. Their campaign also included dietitian led TV segments, virtual store tours and Facebook lives, a Basket Bolt event collecting $3,000 for food assistance programs, a Kids Kit program which provided 400 meals to children and their families, and many more events.
Program: Share A Better Family Meal
The 2021 Eggland’s Best “Share A Better Family Meal,” campaign encouraged families to spend more time around the table eating nutritious meals together. Through partnerships, social media channels, sweepstakes, and a national press release, Eggland's Best shared National Family Meal Month™ resources with consumers and partners. Their collaboration with Raddish Kids included kits for kids to explore their confidence in the kitchen with recipes and live cook-along Facebook events with 3,000 live viewers.
Program: Powerful Pairings 2021: Helping Make Family Meals Delicious and Nutritious!
The USA Pulses, the Sorghum Checkoff and National Pork Board combined forces to produce the “Powerful Pairings 2021: Helping Make Family Meals Delicious and Nutritious!” campaign. Through 340 news clips, reaching 76 million consumers, their collaborative efforts educated consumers on the benefits of pairing whole foods for nutritious, ingenious family meals. Their Powerful Pairings website provided consumers with recipes, videos, fact sheets, and other resources.
In addition to the award winners, the following four companies received honorable mentions for their 2021 National Family Meals Month campaigns:
Retailer 1 - 49 stores:
Coborn’s, Inc.: Kids Cook at Home for National Family Meals Month!
Coborn’s Inc’s, “Kids Cook at Home for National Family Meals Month!” campaign was a huge hit. The campaign focused on getting kids involved with family meals through their Kids Cook at Home virtual cooking class series led by a Coborn’s registered dietitian. About 116 kids attended the classes with their families to make recipes like 10-minute burrito bowls and quesadillas. Coborn’s campaign also included: TV appearances, meal solution endcaps, weekly circular, Facebook lives, social media, dietitian's digest email blast, and in-store displays. Thousands of viewers saw Coborn’s live TV segment on Twin Cities Live and over 27,000 people tuned in to Coborn’s Facebook Live.
Retailer 50 – 199 stores:
SpartanNash Company: Family Meals at Home
SpartanNash’s, “Family Meals at Home,” campaign’s goal was to provide awareness, empowering resources, skills, inspiration, and an increased virtual presence to harness the power and healthfulness of family meals overall (i.e., cooking, cleaning, eating). They focused on how to turn any meal into a family meal as an opportunity to connect, learn, thrive and stay strong together in these unprecedented times. Through weekly ad circulars, local TV segments, recipes, and social media, SpartanNash attained over 11.5 million printed ad impressions, 22,000 media campaign impressions, 2 million Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest impressions, and over 30,000 National Family Meals Month™ stickers on rotisserie chicken purchases. Not only were SpartanNash’s in-store grab-n-go rotisserie chicken dinners a hit, their virtual cooking sessions with easy-to-follow recipes and instructions to aide cooking fatigue reached over 15,000 families. Overall, SpartanNash’s downloadable coloring book to get kids involved in the cooking process and be excited about family meals contributed to reaching over 14 million people.
Retailer 200+ stores:
Wakefern Food Corp: Just Add Family
Wakefern Food Corp’s, “Just Add Family” campaign. Wakefern took a 360 approach and focused their campaign on customer engagement, in-store execution, digital and social media, as well as community and associate engagement. Wakefern made sure to maintain Covid-19 safety throughout their stores by using cardboard cut outs of their registered dietitians at their in-store events. Wakefern brought families to the table with their mass media campaign that captured over 12 million impressions through 20 media stories (TV, print, and online) about National Family Meals Month™. Their campaign #JustAddFamily had over 63,000 impressions and 10,000 engagements on Instagram; 215,000 organic impressions on ShopRite accounts; 3.2 million billboard views; and a 28% increase in sales from last year’s National Family Meals Month™.
Campbell Soup Company: Campbell Helps Families Stay Strong with Family Meals
Campbell Soup Company’s, “Campbell Helps Families Stay Strong with Family Meals,” campaign worked to promote simple meal solutions. The goal of the campaign was to inspire stakeholders to stay strong with their family meals through quick scratch cooking solutions. To do this, Campbell’s created circular ads with recipes containing 7 or fewer ingredients showing that one does not need the kitchen sink to make a delicious and filling meal. Campbell’s mass media campaign included stories and recipes from across the employee spectrum including the CEO. Campbell’s also continued its tradition of having a special edition of its health professional newsletter promoting National Family Meals Month™ resources and inspiration, which was distributed to 20,000 health professionals with a 13% open rate. Across all social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn), Campbell’s logged in over 22,500 impressions.
National Pork Board andU.S. Dry Pea & Lentil Council: Powerful Pairings
Pork & Pulses. The National Pork Board and The U.S. Dry Pea & Lentil Council joined forces to create “Pork & Pulses: A Powerful Pairing”. This campaign and website focused on nutrients and cost-effective protein options in family meals. Their website was populated with hundreds of recipes and educational materials based on customer demographics: Millennials, Adults/Gen X, Hispanic Heritage Inspired, and Family Meals – the breakdown allowed people to easily find recipes familiar to their taste buds and that spoke to them specifically. Their multi-media campaign included social media, email blasts, videos, and 10 cooking demonstration TV segments. Their Family Feature Videos had a total of 65,200 impressions, and over 226,000 engagements; the press releases received over 2,000 views and hits; and their email blasts had a 27% open rate. With support from grocery retailer partners like K-VAT, powerfulpairings.org reached over 2,000 unique views and close to 500 material downloads.
The Grocery Gal: Presents Family Meals Month
The Grocery Gal took Oklahoma by storm with her, “The Grocery Gal Presents Family Meals Month,” campaign. The Grocery Gal used her blog to promote National Family Meals Month™ at two local grocery stores: Shelton’s Grocery and Walters Hometown Grocery (both members of the Affiliated Foods of Amarillo Texas association) and collaborated with the Oklahoma Grocers Association to promote her social media campaigns. She brought the benefits of family meals home, literally, by highlighting her own family in the kitchen and provided each store with 500 copies of a dinner time meal planner and 300 copies of a weekly cost-effective, easy recipe. In addition to completely running out of printed material (2,200 total impressions), The Grocery Gal engaged with kids at the stores with a coloring contest and hung up drawings in each store, culminating in 50 colored plates total. Through Facebook, The Grocery Gal reached over 37,500 people; engaged over 600 people on Instagram; and reached over 400 in-person customers a day. At the end of September, The Grocery Gal was asked to extend the program by store customers.
Category: COVID-19 Heroes
Hy-Vee, Inc.: 2020 National Family Meals Month at Hy-Vee
Hy-vee reached millions of people through their 2020 National Family Meals Month™ campaign, which built on their 2020 theme of “coming together.” During National Family Meals Month™, Hy-Vee typically hosts “Kids Eat Free Fridays,” at their restaurants; to add to their generosity, this year Hy-Vee also set up a contactless, drive-thru to giveaway free meals to low-income families in select communities. Hy-Vee also donated meals and services to family center organizations specializing in restoring and building family relationships and assisting children/adults who experience difficult circumstances. For Iowa Stops Hunger, Hy-Vee donated meals, and created a video campaign to explain the importance of ending childhood hunger, and how a meal can change a child’s life. For Minnesota Transitions Schools, Hy-Vee donated backpacks filled with school supplies and canned goods. Hy-Vee went above and beyond this National Family Meals Month™ to ensure that everyone could share a meal with their loved ones around the table.
The GIANT Company: The GIANT Company is For Today's Table™ during National Family Meals Month
The GIANT Company recently launched their “For Today’s Table,” campaign that also served as their personal theme for this year’s National Family Meals Month™. GIANT’s program reached thousands of people, and utilized their social media prowess in some new ways. For every photo shared with the hashtag #ForTodaysTable, GIANT donated the cash equivalent, and provided over 100 meals to neighborhoods in need. Additionally, the GIANT company made sure to support their local nonprofit organizations by donating over 2 million to those supporting hunger relief efforts. GIANT’s generosity did not stop there - they focused on the importance of giving back internally. GIANT provided $100 in Grocery Dollars to each of their 35,000 team members; 500 team members decided to give back through volunteering at local food banks. The GIANT Company not only took care of their own during this National Family Meals Month™, but made sure they addressed their community’s needs as well.
Gold Plate Partners
Common Threads: Family Meals Month
Common Threads partnered with the FMI Foundation to promote Family Meals Month. They launched four weekly recipe videos with a multi-cultural focus, which reinforced the multi-cultural roots of their philosophy. Common Threads reached thousands of people through these videos and social media posts.
Produce for Better Health Foundation: Staying Strong With Family Meals During September As National Fruits & Veggies Month and National Family Meals Month
Produce for Better Health Foundation worked with the FMI Foundation to promote Family Meals Month and Fruits and Veggies-More Matters Month. The goal was to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetable in family meals. This collaborative strategy included a webinar through PBH’s Health & Wellness webinar platform, with more than 1,000 people registering. PBH also promoted these months through social media, social media influencers and a trade press release.
In addition to the award winners, the following four companies received honorable mentions for their 2020 National Family Meals Month campaigns:
Retailer 1 - 49 stores:
Northgate Gonzalez Market
Program: Cada Comida tiene una Historia / Every Meal has a Story
Northgate Gonzalez Markets’ “Cada Comida tiene una Historia / Every Meal has a Story” campaign took a two-prong approach. Their campaign and provided all materials (written and audio) in both English and Spanish, an effective strategy to reach and engage the 40 diverse communities they serve in Southern California. The goals of this family-owned company’s program were to bring awareness of the benefits of sharing a meal with family; share insightful tips to ease preparation of home cooked meals; and promote family meals by offering weekly specials Pilon/Deal of the week. Northgate created a special National Family Meals Month™ sticker label to place on their most popular items, building toward a full meal. Over 20,000 labels were utilized for their most popular products/Pilon’s of the week. Northgate Gonzalez Markets also ensured their associates had fun and learned the importance of family meals, in addition to their shoppers. Each store held health and wellness events for associates and shoppers. At their headquarters, each of the 10 departments had a team competing in a family-style potluck. Each department was given a different theme for their meal and over 60 employees joined the family potluck meal. .
Retailer 50 – 199 stores:
Tops Friendly Markets
Program: Tops Table Time
Tops Friendly Markets’ “Tops Table Time” campaign utilized six local social media influencer in their campaign to drive home the importance and benefits of sharing family meals. These influencers were given informational materials about National Family Meals Month™, as well as easy recipes to share with their audience. Tops’ marketing campaign included weekly ad circulars, in-store radio and signage, direct mail, digital media and social media. The campaign was mainly web-based and the landing page featured a comprehensive family meals toolkit that included: a 30-day challenge calendar; “no phone challenge” template; shopping lists for different ages; recipe collection/Pinterest inspiration; and ugly fridge sweepstakes. The purpose of the Tops Table Time campaign was to challenge families to share one more meal together, as well as one more activity. Separate shopping lists for family members provided a template for food shopping together. Feedback from associates and shoppers revealed that this was their most engaged year yet and that the toolkit was a success.
Retailer 200+ stores:
Program: 2019 National Family Meals Month at Hy-Vee
Hy-Vee, Inc.’s “2019 National Family Meals Month at Hy-Vee” campaign went above and beyond, with an overall purpose to increase awareness about the health and societal benefits of sharing frequent family meals and to provide information, resources, and solutions to help make eating together easier. Promotions included in-store events; tv and radio commercials; on-air news mentions; social media, digital, and print advertising; in-store signage and announcements; and community outreach. During the first week of September, families of store owners and local news celebrities participated in a family meal set up in the middle of the store during business hours. This meal included a cooking demo and was the launch of their win a free dinner contest. Over 3,000 customers (average of 750 per market) entered the contest to 'win a free family meal' and a $250 gift card to Hy-Vee for groceries. Over the course of the campaign, Hy-Vee served $12,000 worth of free family dinners and $30,000 in gift cards to 120 families across their eight-state area. Hy-Vee also offered a “Kids Eat Free,” promotion with the purchase of an adult entree at their Grille Express. This promotion alone served 30,000 children in 117 in-store restaurants. Hy-Vee registered dietitians also hosted weekly Facebook live segments featuring easy family recipes and Q & As. Each week, the store’s front case had a selection of grab-and-go dinners so that families had the option of eating once they get home or to preparing the together, making dinnertime less stressful. Lastly, Hy-Vee led efforts to secure proclamations from all Governors in their eight-state region, resulting in September being named Family Meals Month in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Wakefern Food Corp.
Program: ShopRite's Family Meals Month: "From Our Family to Yours"
Wakefern Food Corp’s “ShopRite’s Family Meals Month: From Our Family to Yours,” campaign focused around the heartbeat of the company—family. Wakefern stores are owned by 50 different families. The store owners shared their family mealtime stories, pictures, and recipes with each other and customers to raise awareness on the benefits and share the joy of sharing meals with one’s family. Wakefern Food Corp. provided customers with free “From Our Family to Yours” family meals-themed recipe books featuring campaign messaging. The recipes from the booklet came from Wakefern employees, enabling them to share their family meals with their customers. Wakefern’s omni-channel marketing campaign included highway billboards, influencer-driven campaigns, over 100 registered dietitians, social media, circulars, ads, commercials, and recipe books.
Campbell Soup Company
Program: Campbell's Family Meals Month Campaign
Campbell Soup Company’s “Campbell’s Family Meals Month Campaign” goal was to inspire customers to enjoy simple family meals more often. Campbell’s utilized social media, digital activations, and in-store signage/displays to disseminate their campaign to consumers and health professionals. Circular coupons and monthly newsletters included promotions on family mealtime food items with links to the Campbell’s website. The Campbell’s dietitian team also created a special edition of their monthly newsletter on campbellnutrition.com that linked to resources on the benefits of family meals, branded recipe solutions, FMI resources, and showcased other non-profit organizations participating in the National Family Meals Month™ campaign..
National Pork Board
Program: Meal Solutions for Schools, Retail, and Partners
National Pork Board’s “Meal Solutions for Schools, Retail, and Partners” campaign goal was to spread awareness on the importance of National Family Meals Month™ through heritage, and the importance of sustainable farming in partnership with Young Minds Inspired. They accomplished this by developing downloadable handouts for teachers, parents, and administrators. Emails to family and consumer sciences (FACS) educators explained the importance of National Family Meals Month™ and how it can be tied into their curriculum. Each email highlighted a different topic: pork utilized in cultural food preparation (e.g., ham pinwheels, Peruvian-style pork stir-fry); sustainable farming practices; observances such as Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) featuring Latin flavors in pork and Heart Health Month (February) related to pork’s nutritional contribution. Each email had a link to education materials with further detail on that week’s topic, handouts/worksheets for class, and a letter to be sent home highlighting what they discussed and recipes. Additional materials were available on the website to further describe how the National Pork Board is working to understand generational shifts by highlighting their sustainable practices and transparency, targeting Millennials and Gen-Z.
Newport Avenue Market
Program: We Believe in Family Meals
Newport Avenue Market’s “We Believe in Family Meals” reclaimed Tuesdays during their “What’s for Dinner Tuesday” campaign. Every week, customers pre-ordered Tuesday meal kits for pick up.These changed weekly, took no longer than 30 minutes to cook, and served a family of 4. Each kit included recipes for the main dish, side dishes, and dessert, as well as a purple oven mitt. The purple mitts represented the “Raise your Mitt to Commit” pledge to share one more family meal a week. These images were shared on social media and entered contestants to win a $100 gift card to Newport. Newport also cultivated an eight-episode video YouTube campaign to enhance their meal kits.
In addition to the seven award winners, the following four companies received honorable mentions for their 2019 National Family Meals Month campaigns:
Retailer 1 - 49 stores: Skogen's Festival Foods - Festival Family Meals
Skogen’s Festival Foods
Program: Kid-Approved Foods
The goal of Festival Foods’ 2018 campaign was kid engagement, centered on a YouTube “mini” series that featured real kids or “mini guests” enjoying food, family meals, and fun! This approach was based on research showing that more than 80 percent of kids ages 12–17 use YouTube, with two-thirds of kids on YouTube daily. The campaign utilized an omni-channel approach to promote the YouTube “mini” series and National Family Meals Month messaging with Facebook Live broadcasts, an Instagram campaign, blog posts, a Press Release, paid ads, email blasts, TV appearances with Festival Foods dietitians, radio ads, text campaigns, and in-store dietitian activations that included grocery store tours, “$10 Meal” challenges, and promotions on recipe ingredients. Festival Foods' campaign was strengthened through supplier partnerships with Campbell’s, Hormel, and General Mills in the production of the YouTube “mini” series, and with Y100 WNCY in a joint-Facebook Live broadcast making a kid-friendly meal. The campaign reached over 2 million people.
Retailer 50 – 199 stores:
GIANT Food Stores
Program: Power of One More Family Meal
Through a comprehensive, omni-channel approach that utilized traditional and social media, dietitian activations, community events and even billboards, Giant Martins reached over 65 million people. Traditional media included the launch of a TV ad focused entirely on family meals, billboards ads, and a news release. Social media drove reach with weekly posts and recipe inspiration to help Giant Martins’ customers feel more confident about making more family meals. Money saving offers, tips, recipes and other resources were sent each week in in- home-mailers and circulars to encourage family meals. An article in local magazine Natural Awakenings spoke about the benefits of family meals to nourish minds, in addition to bodies. In stores, dietitians offered individual consultations, cooking classes, store tours and “wellness walks”, and over 1500 associates brought the campaign to life with in-store displays on “Quick ‘N Easy” and “Easy Does It” meal deals. Dietitians connected with the community on the topic of family meals through events at schools, senior centers, workplaces (Hershey Entertaining and the Department of Health), the YMCA, a Healthy Kids Running Series, and a community township day. The philanthropic leg of the campaign donated the equivalent of over 17 million meals to families in need!
Retailer 200+ stores:
Program: Hy-Vee, Inc.'s National Family Meals Month Campaign
Hy-Vee’s National Family Meals Month Campaign set out to bring families back to the dinner table by providing tips and tools to make mealtime more manageable. In partnership with Hormel, Hy-Vee helped donate over 370,000 homemade peanut-butter sandwiches to Harvesters – The Community Food Network. Sandwich packs contained recipe cards that also promoted the benefits of family meals. In partnership with The Soulfull Project, over 21,000 servings of multi-grain cereal were distributed to the Food Bank of Heartland through an event that was inspired by National Family Meals Month. In partnership with beef councils in their 8-state region, Hy-Vee dietitians distributed more than $10,000 in Mealtime Kit vouchers at college and professional football tailgates while promoting National Family Meals Month. Now a tradition in Hy-Vee’s National Family Meals Month campaign, actor Mark Wahlberg once again helped bring the Family Meals Month message home with a promotion on social media. Finally, all 8 states where Hy-Vee has stores made National Family Meals Month proclamations.
Across all 246 Hy-Vee stores, over 80,000 associates including RDs brought the campaign to life. All 160 in-store dietitians led Kids in the Kitchen family cooking classes, and provided nutrition consultations, store-tours, and courses on kids nutrition and lifestyle management. Different “Family Meal Deals” were highlighted weekly promoting meal kits for families in need of grab-and-go options, and kids ate free all month at the Hy-Vee Market Grille & Express (a total of 30,472 free meals for kids)! At point-of-sale, associates spread messages from FMI on the benefits of family meals, such as “Families who eat together have kids who do better in school.” Advertisements were included in Hy-Vee’s weekly print, Balance magazine, and a Family Cooking Guide that focused solely on Family Meals Month. A press release was published in over 1,000 media outlets featuring a quote from Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO, and president, on the importance of family meals. Three campaign-themed emails were sent to customers throughout the month, and social media channels were used daily to share dinnertime recipes that took 30 minutes or less with only a few simple ingredients. On TV, Hy-Vee dietitians participated in media segments in 8 different cities to promote the Family Meals Month campaign. Hy-Vee’s campaign reached over 2 million people.
Wakefern Food Corp.
Program: Family Meals Month at ShopRite
To build awareness for September’s campaign Wakefern launched a “Healthy Family Meals” contest in April, promoted on social media and in a news release, inviting customers to share their favorite family meal recipes. 11 winners were chosen to then participate in September’s campaign promotions, and the top winner was awarded $2500 and a spot in ShopRite’s family meals-themed cookbook produced specially for the campaign by ShopRite dietitians. In-store activations included thorough signage (floor clings, aisle blades, shelf wobblers), promotional messages on in-aisle video screens, professionally recorded overhead announcements, themed meal promotions like “Better for You Tacos”, a limited-edition “Family Meals Month Meal Kit”, and a variety of dietitian-led activities. The campaign reach was amplified by advertisements in circulars, broadcast commercials, boosted social media posts, syndicated editorial content distributed to local newspapers, National Family Meals Month messaging featured across all social media platforms including live events using the #FamilyMealsMonth hashtag, a special National Family Meals Month landing page on ShopRite’s website, and weekly recipe emails. In the community, 500 free National Family Meals Month-themed meals were distributed to Partners in Caring Hunger Initiative, dietitians lead themed cooking classes, and family meal-themed presentations were given to a senior center and a Health Fair at a local church. Two events spoke to family meals in non-traditional settings: 1) college students encouraging ”family” meals while away at school; and 2) community members at a soup kitchen about the benefits of eating together. Internally, all retail associates wore National Family Meals Month-themed buttons, handed out cookbooks, and took part in RD-led food demos, and corporate employees engaged in a “Meal Makeover” contest. The campaign reach in-store alone was over 24 million customers, with 135,000 cookbooks distributed and over 2 million engagements on social media.
Program: Family Meals for Healthier, More Successful, Safer Kids!
Kellogg’s “Family Meals for Healthier, More Successful, Safer Kids!” campaign implemented a unique and collaborative approach that combined the complimentary missions of Kellogg’s, WIC, and National Family Meals Month. Kellogg’s chose to focus on WIC during National Family Meals Month to help WIC educators address a lull in use of WIC foods by participants. Through partnerships with a variety of WIC stakeholders, Kellogg’s spread messages about the benefits of family meals, the state of family meals in the U.S., and ways to use WIC foods to make affordable, delicious meals that bond families. This included partnerships with other retailers (Vons, Stater Bros., and fellow National Family Meals Month participant SpartanNash) and more than 280 WIC clinics. The campaign took place in WIC clinics, in supermarkets, on WIC and Kellogg’s websites, and in corporate settings to educate WIC staff at multiple levels. Kellogg’s created a number of resources during the campaign to include a set of 15 recipes utilizing WIC foods (cereals, beans, canned fish, yogurt), food demonstrations for over 30 retail locations, a lesson plan on the benefits of family meals for WIC families presented to >700 WIC staff, and poster displays, meal planning sheets, and “cooking Hack” sheets for WIC clinics. The campaign reached over 13,000 WIC participants through skill-building lessons on the benefits of family meals, and 700 Michigan WIC staff during Education Kellogg’s lesson on National Family Meals Month.
Produce for Better Health Foundation
Program: Fruits and Veggies- More Matters Month: A Focus on Family Meals
Produce for Better Health Foundation’s “Fruits and Veggies- More Matters Month: A Focus on Family Meals” campaign promoted their mission of “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters” as well as the benefits of family meals. Through a press release placed in a number of notable media outlets PBH reached a potential 6 million people, with an additional 16,000 reached via social media pushes of the news release. PBH utilized their social media handles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and their website to highlight the benefits of fruits and vegetables and family meals and incorporated the National Family Meals Month™ branded logo into their campaign.
In addition to the six award winners, the following five companies received honorable mentions for their 2018 National Family Meals Month campaigns:
Retailer 1 - 99 stores: Skogen's Festival Foods - Festival Family Meals
Skogen’s Festival Foods
Program: Festival Family Meals: $10 Meals
Festival Foods successfully created a comprehensive omnichannel campaign to promote National Family Meals Month through their $10 Meals program. Their 360-degree approach involved meeting guests, associates and consumers in the stores where they shop, on social media, via traditional media as well as during presentations in the community. Festival Foods collaborated with industry partners to spread the family meals message including the American Heart Association; Fruits & Veggies – More Matters; area celebrities from The Better Half (a lifestyle TV show hosted by wives of Green Bay Packers players); a statewide radio show Wilde & Tausch on ESPN; and with local WFRV-TV’s morning talk show. Grocery store tours were offered throughout the month in partnership with healthcare systems, community groups and universities. The campaign produced measurable results, including 418 guests redeeming a family meals month offer from their mobile text club over the course of two days.
Retailer 100 – 199 stores:
Program: Family Meals Month!
SpartanNash celebrated family meals across their with a comprehensive and creative omnichannel experience. They used print advertisements, online blog content, social media content and the National Family Meals Month logo on produce sign inserts. In-store, store associates offered families seen shopping together oven mitts, cans of Our Family soup, and a flier about Family Meals Month. Community outreach included food demos, cooking classes and a health fair in partnership with the YMCA, healthcare store tours and state grant funded partner events. In-store associates were invited to participate in a video about their favorite family meals moments and corporate-level employees received Family Meals Month information through the employee health and wellness program. The SpartanNash campaign reached over 5 million people through social networks and various ads.
Retailer 200+ stores:
The Kroger Company
Program: We’re in! Kroger bringing families together for National Family Meals Month
Kroger’s National Family Meals Month campaign reached over 1 million shoppers through a mixture of omnichannel engagements. Their campaign had a strong focus on their registered dietitians (RDs) and Little Clinic solutions and included a Twitter Chat with Little Clinic RDs; a Facebook Live education series by Little Clinic RDs; in-clinic education by clinicians and pharmacists utilizing a Family Meals Month educational brochure; a live TV broadcast with an RD highlighting Kroger’s offerings for nutritious and timely family meals; in-store nutrition outreach; free RD personal shopping services; and an “Inspired Gathering” page on Kroger.com featuring numerous Family Meals Month recipes, family meal conversation starters, clean-up tips and educational resources (i.e., teaching kids to set the table).
Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc.
Program: AWG Brands Family Meals Month Campaign
Associated Wholesale Grocers’ (AWG) campaign included collaboration between all AWG brands (Best Choice, Clearly Organic, Superior Selections, and Always Save), which published educational content on all brands’ social media pages and websites. All brands fully adopted the Family Meals Month theme for September, changing website sliders, social media profile pictures, and cover photos to display Family Meals Month messaging. All AWG retailers were informed of the campaign and encouraged to share materials with their consumers. Internally, employees were educated on the benefits of family meals with announcements on company TVs.
Campbell Soup Company
Program: Campbell’s Family Meals Partnerships: Helping Families Eat Together
The Campbell Soup Company’s Helping Families Eat Together program included a partnership with a national food retail chain, employee engagement and saw sales increase on promoted products. In addition to using omnichannel tactics, Campbell produced a heartwarming digital ad featuring one of their product lines and the importance of eating together. Collaboration with a national retailer and the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance provided solutions to common barriers of eating meals together. Internally, Campbell’s Global Nutrition team and Consumer Test Kitchens partnered to promote Family Meals Month and reached 10,000 employees across the company with weekly nutritious recipes and family meal solutions. Most impressively, over 130,000 coupons and handouts distributed with the Family Meals Month logo and Pace Salsa mealtime recipe inspiration resulted in a 4 percent increase in Pace Salsa sales.
American Heart Association
Program: Healthy For Good™: Eat Smart and Add Color
The American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good™: Eat Smart and Add Color campaign sought to help people make simple, healthy decisions while creating sustainable habits. Campaign communications like a Healthy For Good e-newsletter pointed to a custom landing page with family meal resources. Consumers were encouraged to create their own “Recipe Box” online to start saving healthy meals for National Family Meals Month. The campaign leveraged multiple national and local American Heart Association social media channels and digital networks to spread the Family Meals Month message, reaching approximately 1 million consumers.
In addition to the six award winners, the following seven companies received honorable mentions for their 2017 National Family Meals Month campaigns:
Retailer 1 - 99 stores: Skogen's Festival Foods - Festival Family Meals
Festival Foods offered samplings from its Dine at Home Deli items to help consumers gain awareness of National Family Meals Month and offer meal solution on busy nights. The company also ran paid ads highlighting the #FestivalFamilyMeals Twitter chat, National Family Meals Month and the in-store Festival Foods Oven Mitt Giveaway. The campaign garnered 4,332 clicks to the website and 688,886 ad impressions. Facebook advertising received 4,511 clicks to the website and 438,023 ad impressions.
K-VA-T Food Stores’ Food City’s promotion of National Family Meals Month included initiatives in-store, online, on social media, in television and print were geared toward both customers and associates. In-store activities included digital signage, recipe booklets for customers at all 134 stores, and an insert in the weekly ad both in-store and by mail to promote the benefits of family meals.
Retailer 200+ stores: Hy-Vee, Inc. - #HyVeeFamilyMeals
Hy-Vee celebrated National Family Meals Month by accommodating families’ busy schedules. The company created numerous educational materials and offered in-store family cooking classes with its 228 dietitians, easy pickup and delivery meal options and the opportunity for children to eat free (with the purchase of an adult entrée) every day in September at the more than 90 Hy-Vee Market Grille restaurants across their eight-state region. For every family who posted a photo of themselves eating a meal together on social media and used the hashtag #HyVeeFamilyMeals and for every person who shared or retweeted Hy-Vee’s social media posts about National Family Meals Month, Hy-Vee donated $1 to Meals from the Heartland (a nonprofit dedicated to feeding the hungry), up to $100,000.
For National Family Meals Month in September, the MDI team established the “Taco Night” meal solution event for families across over 300 retailers and multiple states along the East Coast. The goal was to create an occasion and reason for families to come together, put down their mobile devices, and enjoy, not only a great meal, but each other again. The “Taco Night” meal solution initiative was promoted with print ads, digital coupons, social media, digital web banners, and in-store displays across multiple store chains.
Supplier: Campbell's – Fruits, Veggies, and Family Matter
Campbell’s combined two September campaigns, National Family Meals Month and Fruits & Veggies—More Matters month to emphasize the importance of family meals and encourage consumption of fruit and veggies. The campaign provided creative ideas to make vegetables the center stage of the meal, to add fruits to desserts and to try ethnic-inspired dishes. Families were encouraged to use social media to share photos of their family having dinner and of their veggie –centric meals and inspire others to do the same.
Rosie’s goal was to create more family meals across America by encouraging families to share meals more often by providing the necessary resources to make the process simple. Rosie recruited 11 independent grocer partners to participate and utilizing omnichannel marketing and digital marketing tactics. In total, the campaign earned over 200,000 online impressions, engaged nearly 300 unique website visitors, and received 15 submissions for the Rosie Family Meals Photo Contest. Rosie gave away $500 to families to use toward creating family meals together. Overall revenue from online grocery sales increased 12 percent from August to September among the 11 retailers who partnered with Rosie on this campaign.
Retailer Category A (1-49 stores): Acme Fresh Market - The Surprising Power Of Family Meals!
Acme Fresh Market – Feeding the Families of Our Community for over 120 years – understands the family to be the center of their grocery business. A vision of Steve Albrecht, former president of Acme Fresh Market, the goal of Acme’s family meals campaign and their ongoing commitment to family meal promotion is to forge an emotional attachment between their brand and their community of customers. Albrecht elaborates on this philosophy in his introduction to The Surprising Power of Family Meals by Miriam Weinstein.
“We believe, as a family-owned and family-operated grocery company, that we have an obligation to offer families a wide assortment of top quality foods – and we think we do – but we wish to go one step further. We want to help Moms and Dads realize the surprising power of family meals.”
--Steve Albrecht, Former President, Acme Fresh Market
Retailer Category B (50 – 199 stores) - Price Chopper - Family Mealtimes Matter
Launched in 2008 with a goal to help families enjoy more meals together, Price Chopper’s Family Mealtimes Matter program began as a collaborative effort with Cornell Cooperative Extension educators. The program also seeks to encourage healthier habits that are consistent with USDA and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and facilitate usage of the NuVal Nutrition Scoring system at Price Chopper. Today Price Chopper’s program counts New York State’s SNAP Education program, “Eat Smart New York” and the Times Union newspaper as partners.
“Our higher purpose as a company is to help people feed and care for themselves and their families, so we’re committed to helping our customers source quality fresh food and reap the benefit of information that can inform good choices – both inside our supermarkets and in life. By offering nutritional guidance and food solutions that encourage families to break bread together day in and day out, we’ve realized that we can personalize and localize our impact.”
--Mona Golub, Vice President, Public Relations and Consumer Services
Retailer Category C (200+ stores) - Ahold USA Savory: Fast, Fresh And Easy™
Savory: Fast, Fresh and Easy is an exciting new meal platform developed by Ahold USA to help their customers save time and money while eating well. With these key customer needs in mind, the program offers recipe resources, budget friendly tips and coupons, and time-saving solutions to help customers make easy-to-prepare family meals every day.
“Savory was designed to help make every day a little fresher, a little easier, and little more delicious for our busy customers,” said Amy Hahn, senior vice president of marketing, Ahold USA. “Savory is a go-to guide with inspirational recipes and meal solutions that help our customers save time, save money, and eat well.”
Food Manufacturer Category - Mars Ben’s Beginners™
Ben’s Beginners™, a national program from the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand, is dedicated to helping children develop healthier eating habits by learning how to cook. The Ben’s Beginners™ movement encourages parents to connect with their kids in the kitchen. It shows families that cooking isn’t just a skill; it’s a life lesson that inspires children to make healthier decisions about eating.
“Mars is honored to be recognized by FMI for bringing families together through Ben’s Beginners™,” said Lara McCauley, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Mars Food North America, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand. “Through Ben’s Beginners™ we’ve seen thousands of families connecting in the kitchen which helps encourage children to learn this crucial life skill of cooking so they are able to build healthy eating habits they can carry with them for life.”
Category A (1-49 stores:) Budget Bites, First Alternative Co-op
Saying “simple” and being simple are two different things. First Alternative Coop’s Budget Bites is an ongoing program based on a simple-to-follow weekly menu plan, shopping list and recipes for a family of two adults, all under $50 per week.
Category B (50-199 stores): Healthy Bites, Weis Markets
Weis puts tremendous effort into making family meals easier and healthier with a company-wide, comprehensive, multi-media program of meal solutions, recipes and healthy eating advice that centers on a 16-page fully customized print and online magazine.
Category C (200+ stores): Simple Meals, Publix Aprons
The importance of family togetherness is overtly messaged in the Simple Meals program from Publix. They make it easier by featuring new meal ideas weekly, specifically developed to simplify planning, preparation and clean up. Meal ideas are made accessible through multiple media channels, including circulars, online and in-store.
2014 Gold Plate Award Honorable Mentions
Category A: Helping Families Eat Better, Village Super Markets, ShopRite
A program that introduces children and parents to new foods and preparation techniques- creating a level of familiarity to encourage at home prep.
Category B: Family Mealtimes Matter, Price Chopper
A collaborative initiative of Price Chopper, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Eat Smart New York, the kickoff events will feature registered dietitians and nutrition educators that will inspire shoppers to make a commitment to quality family time based on healthy, budget-conscious meals.
Category C: Bring Home a Real Taste of Mexico, Safeway
In Fall 2013, Safeway enlisted Marcela Valladolid, a Food Network host and top-selling cookbook author, to launch a brand and product line celebrating the real taste of Mexico, focused on family meals.
Category A (1-49 stores): HealthCents, Redner’s Warehouse Markets
In 2009, Redner’s Warehouse Markets recognized the busy lives of consumers and the need for nutrition education and meal solutions on a budget within the marketplace. The HealthCents program does just that, providing healthful affordable options for families. A registered dietitian coordinates the program, which includes a bi-monthly health and wellness newsletter, weekly informative circular ads, and a merchandised “better for you” end-cap in all stores. The program also extends into the community with cooking demonstrations, nutrition lectures and in-store events. As HealthCents moves into its fifth year, Redner’s continues to add individualized programs to encourage families to prepare meals at home, enjoy family time and nourish healthy bodies.
Category B (50-199 Stores): Family Mealtimes Matter, Price Chopper
Helping families find solutions that are quick, healthy and budget-friendly has been central to the Family Mealtimes Matter program since its creation in 2008. The education and outreach program promotes the idea that all mealtimes can be family mealtimes. Each October, as part of Eat Better, Eat Together month, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Price Chopper registered dietitians inspire shoppers to make a commitment to quality family mealtime. Outreach components include recipes, coupons, food demonstrations, informational tips and giveaways. Price Chopper is committed to making Family Meals a lifestyle for their community and looks to expand the program into other states.
Category C (200+ stores): Family Meals Program, Affiliated Foods Midwest Cooperative
Realizing that customers want quick and simple family meal solutions, Affiliate Foods Midwest put the answer in the customer’s hands. Using a weekly flyer as a primary tool, the Family Meals Program suggests and promotes simple components to a family meal. More than 500 retailers use this flyer to guide consumers to products that are supported by recipes and meal ideas. Flyers and posters around the store reinforce the family meals concept and remind consumers it can be simple to put together quick and healthy meals. Affiliate Foods Midwest continues to expand the program, introducing more quality choices to serve customer wants and needs.
2013 Gold Plate Award Honorable Mentions
Category A: Fixin’s, BD & K Foods
BD & K Foods in Columbus, Georgia promotes family-style meals and southern-style goodness with their Fixin’s line of hot, healthy, ready-to-eat packaged vegetables and side dishes. BD&K Foods recognized that the 800 million rotisserie chickens sold in retail each year are only the beginning of a family meal. The Fixin’s program places traditional side dishes in the same steam table as the chickens to demonstrate simple, wholesome family meal options. The side dishes are made without preservatives or artificial ingredients and each Fixin’s package includes a Fixin’s Fact about the advantages of eating family dinners together. CEO Kevin Jordan believes how you eat is as important as what you eat and the Fixin program allows families to come together over a well-rounded meal even on the busiest of days.
Category B: Veggie of the Month, Hannaford
Hannaford’s Veggie of the Month program moves the supermarket chain from a supporting role to center stage in promoting healthy eating and family meals. The company has long been a partner in local initiatives and continues this involvement as they expand the Veggie of the Month program into classrooms with the “Gimme Five” challenge. Both the challenge and the program focus on an area Hannaford identified as a primary healthy-eating struggle for families – getting kids to eat their veggies! The Veggie of the Month program highlights seasonal vegetables with kid-friendly recipes, take-away information on health benefits, and fun educational activities. All 181 Hannaford stores participate in the program and a customer survey reveals high customer satisfaction, with 79 percent reporting they felt the program supported parent efforts to establish healthy habits for children. Read interview here.
Category C: Sustaining Meal Solutions Platform, Safeway
In 2012, Safeway research revealed that 11 percent of store trips were to shop for an imminent meal. Identifying an opportunity to provide healthy and quick meals, Safeway partnered with The Coca-Cola Company to develop the Sustaining Meal Solutions Platform. The program aims to transform the deli department into a destination for quick service family meals. Safeway focuses on take-home family meals, such as a roasted chicken with two sides. The package deal is an easy solution for busy families and reminds shoppers that family meals are accessible and affordable. The program has been universally replicated and reaches about 1.2 million households. Coca Cola and Safeway continue their partnership as they look to new categories of shoppers and expand meal offerings to include breakfast and lunch bundles.