Paul Holmes 07 May 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
Kraft initiated a nationwide contest to search for the Kraft Kitchens M.O.M. Council, six “real mom” consumer advisors who would provide tips and ideas for making mundane mealtimes magnificent. The Council—along with Kraft Kitchens staffers and guest celebrity “moms”—engaged families in mealtime idea exchanges at four local town-hall style events across the country. “Virtual” versions continued the dialogue through a series of Web chats on topics from Kids in the Kitchens to Dinnertime Dilemmas. In order to gain fresh insights and recent statistics about how Americans manage mealtimes in spite of dozens of competing challenges, Kraft commissioned an independently fielded survey of 1,000 people. The surprising mealtime messages were used as a platform for the program. The survey found that spending time together at mealtime was one of women’s top priorities, but they wanted to spend more time connecting and less time cooking. Following this nationwide conversation, Kraft compiled the Kraft Kitchens M.O.M. Report, an inclusive collection of the top 365 tips for spending time with favorite people over favorite foods. The colorful 50-page booklet, an essential encyclopedia of mealtime ideas and solutions, won accolades from media and consumers alike. Our resulting program greatly exceeded expectations, generating more than 182 million impressions to-date, nearly 260 percent of the original goal.
As the nation’s largest packaged foods company, with brands enjoyed from sun up to sun down, Kraft Foods had thousands of ideas about how to bring families together at mealtime….but knew the true mealtime experts were “moms” themselves. Kraft Foods challenged Edelman Worldwide to develop a company-wide, equity-building program that positioned “mom” at the center and presented Kraft and Kraft Kitchens as the mealtime voice of “real moms.” The resulting program kicked off a year-long, nationwide dialogue—both virtual and in-person, via computer, phone and mail—with women nationwide. Throughout the year, Kraft searched for the most significant mealtime dilemmas and provided valuable, actionable solutions.
Primary and secondary research was compiled to gauge Americans’ attitudes about how families handled mealtimes and determine the best marketing strategy for the equity-building program. Results boasting the benefits of family dinnertime, while indicating the inherent everyday challenges, proved the team was on the right track:
In an independent study, children who ate dinner together with their families at least five times per week were considered “well-adjusted” compared to those who spent fewer mealtimes together. (Source: APA Monitor, American Psychological Society)
A recent survey found eight in 10 working moms agreed that eating together is a great way to enjoy quality family time; but a majority of them found it difficult to do so, due to conflicting schedules, lack of time and differing tastebuds. (Source: Working Mother Magazine)
An independent survey addressed America’s mealtime preferences and priorities: a majority of Americans view a home-cooked meal as “the gold standard.” (Source: Gallup Study of Home Meal Replacement)
Research outlining the makeup of today’s nuclear family helped establish the focus and target audience for the program:
25 percent of today’s families are comprised of a mother, a father and children. (Source: TGE Demonstrations)
Internal focus groups were conducted to help shape the title and target for the program, Kraft Presents M.O.M. (Moms On Mealtime). Though our program targeted primarily women with kids, we were concerned the term “mom” might be construed as too limiting. Yet more all-inclusive terms like “family-nurturer” did not resonate well with participants. We decided to use “mom” as an acronym (M.O.M.) and broadly define this reference in all press materials and message points. (Kraft’s definition of “M.O.M.” included virtually anyone responsible for the lion’s share of mealtime planning and preparation in a household.)
The Kraft Kitchens M.O.M. Survey, an independent, third-party study commissioned by Kraft, surveyed 1,000 Americans nationwide about their mealtime rituals and behaviors. The following results were used as a platform for our program:
America’s dinnertime is alive and well – a surprising seven in 10 Americans are still sitting down to dinner together at least five times a week.
Traditions begin at the table – 89 percent of families say mealtime is when their traditions and rituals are born.
Kids are mealtime CEOs – 94 percent of families say the kids choose what’s for dinner on weekdays.
There’s room for more – More than 50 percent of families would like to spend more time eating together and feel dinnertime could be a more relaxed experience.
After reviewing the research, the many benefits of connecting at mealtime were confirmed and the challenges in doing so apparent. Kraft announced Kraft Presents M.O.M. (Moms On Mealtime), a multi-tiered program to raise awareness of Kraft and Kraft Kitchens and position them as the voice of “real moms.”
The team set off to attain the following OBJECTIVES:
Strengthen consumers’ commitment to Kraft through a first-of-its-kind, equity-building program
Demonstrate that Kraft is a company committed to connecting families over food
Establish that Kraft is a company that cares about and listens to moms by placing her at the center of the program
Leverage Kraft’s existing strengths and resources, e.g. www.kraftfoods.com and members of Kraft Kitchens
Generate nationwide awareness for Kraft and Kraft Kitchens through a PR campaign that would deliver 70 million media impressions
And reach the following audience:
Established and potential users of Kraft Foods
Household members, primarily women, who are responsible for mealtime planning and preparation
Goals were accomplished by incorporating the following STRATEGIES:
Build and energize Kraft’s relationship with consumers by becoming mom’s right hand for meal solutions
Provide valuable “real mom” resources that help families connect over food
Incorporate a Web function into every component of the program
Establish and continue a year-long dialogue with families to provide evidence that Kraft knows about and cares about them-- in the form of a contest, local market events, Web chats, interactive Web site features and a consumer advisory council
In honor of moms nationwide and timed to coincide with Mother’s Day, Kraft launched the KRAFT KITCHENS SEARCH FOR M.O.M., inviting entrants to share ways their “M.O.M.” makes mealtimes special. From the thousands of entries received via kraftfoods.com and P.O. box, six winners were appointed charter members of the KRAFT KITCHENS M.O.M. COUNCIL.
Throughout their one-year appointment, the Kraft Kitchens M.O.M. Council shared “real-M.O.M.” ideas for bringing family together at mealtime. They participated in local events to relay their insights with families across the country, contributed to Kraft Web Chats and provided first-hand feedback on new ideas from Kraft Kitchens.
Kraft continued its year-long, mealtime dialogue by conducting the KRAFT KITCHENS M.O.M. SURVEY with the help of Yankelovich Partners. The national survey, which polled 1,000 Americans primarily responsible for their family’s meal planning and preparation, provided a surprising snapshot of how M.O.M.s manage mealtimes today while juggling dozens of other obligations. The survey revealed that Americans know what they want to get out of mealtimes but often encounter hurdles along the way.
Kraft took these messages on the road to four local communities to encourage families to share ideas for making mundane mealtimes magnificent. The KRAFT KITCHENS M.O.M. CONNECTIONS events, town-hall style meetings hosted in Baltimore, Phoenix, Chicago and Charlotte, allowed Kraft to learn about families’ challenges first-hand. With the help of “celebrity” guests—popular local TV broadcasters—Kraft helped make mealtimes easier for families by encouraging them to exchange solutions with each other. “Virtual” versions of the Connections events were hosted in a Web chat forum and featured M.O.M. Council members, Kraft Kitchens staffers and special celebrity guests, Meredith Vieira, co-star of NBC-hit show,
The View, and Elaine St. James, author of the Simplify Your Life series.
The result of this country-wide conversation was the composition of the KRAFT KITCHENS M.O.M. REPORT, a colorful and inclusive collection of the top 365 actionable tips for spending time with favorite people over favorite foods. The 50-page booklet is a virtual encyclopedia of mealtime ideas and solutions—by M.O.M.s for M.O.M.s—made available to consumers via P.O. box or by logging onto Kraftfoods.com.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
Our program greatly exceeded expectations, generating more than 182 million impressions to-date, 260 percent of the original goal. Through the program’s interactive components and creation of the Kraft Kitchens M.O.M. Report, Kraft was positioned as an industry-leading provider of valuable mealtime solutions. The program reached more than 10,000 M.O.M.s via local events, contest, Web site, Web chats and survey, and successfully delivered an extraordinarily low CPM of $4.39. Media relations successes included four placements in USA Today, as well as USA Radio Network, Parenting Magazine and Chicago Tribune. Nearly four thousand requests for the Kraft Kitchens M.O.M. Report have been fulfilled to-date. (Sales information is proprietary and cannot be disclosed at the request of the client.)