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.