By: Allison Febrey, Assistant, Health & Wellness/FMI Foundation/Food & Product Safety, Food Marketing Institute

Festival Foods NFMM For National Family Meals Month™ (NFMM), three-time Gold Plate Award winner Skogen’s Festival Foods took on the challenge that parents face daily: engaging kids. I reached out to Lauren Tulig, nutrition communications manager at Festival Foods, to learn about their NFMM program. 

Question: Why did you decide to make reaching kids the goal your National Family Meals Month campaign this year?

Answer: Our goal with this year's campaign was to get kids talking about food and time around the table as a family. In order to make this happen, we knew that we had to make it fun, interactive and engaging. When kids are excited about something, they share it with their parents, teachers and friends. We wanted to make kids our "mini" influencers for family meals. Our hope was that they would start asking their parents to have a build- your-own-pizza night at home as a family or make a smoothie together with a secret green ingredient.

Q: Along with your focus on kids, your omni-channel campaign took on a new communications this year- YouTube. What was your rationale for choosing YouTube?

A: Analytics show that more than 80 percent of kids ages 12–17 use YouTube, with two-thirds of kids on YouTube daily. We talked to several parents who shared that their kids love watching other kids on YouTube. We decided that the best way to reach and engage kids would be to produce YouTube videos starring other kids. These "mini" series stars were sourced from our guests and associates. Many of them had something to say about food and family meals, but we didn't know what that something was until we got them in our test kitchen and in front of the camera.

Q: Can you tell us more about the content of the videos?

A: In our seven episode “mini” series, our little guests built their own pizzas, made their own taco cups, talked about their favorite family meals, tasted sneaky foods that had hidden healthy ingredients, dished on their go-to snacks, tried new breakfast recipes and more. We partnered with vendors including Campbell’s, Hormel and General Mills, to share their products and capture the kids’ feedback.

Q: What are some other ways that you engaged kids during National Family Meals Month? How else did you promote Family Meals?

A: We kicked off our National Family Meals Month campaign with a Facebook live broadcast featuring a few of our “mini” guests chatting about family meals and making a fun Turkey & Cheese Sushi recipe with Mealtime Mentor Jenni. This was a great way for the kids to talk about the "mini" series and tease the YouTube videos to come throughout the month. Our Mealtime Mentors, who are also registered dietitians, developed a number of kid-friendly recipes, which we promoted through digital and social media and email marketing targeted to parents. The Mealtime Mentors partnered with local dietetic interns to offer grocery store tours which included a $10 Meals Challenge activity to area Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops. We also utilized more traditional media, like television, radio and print, to promote National Family Meals Month as a whole.

Thank you Lauren for telling us about your unique NFMM campaign! Congratulations to Festival Foods on its Gold Plate Award winning National Family Meals Month campaign! 

Watch this sizzle reel summarizing all the great Family Meals we saw this past September. Now is the perfect time to start planning for National Family Meals Month September 2019. There is no fee to participate.

Go to for ideas on how you and your company can join the movement. Learn more about some of the award-winning programs on our Gold Plate Awards page.