The story behind Agriculture Month
In my last blog I talked about sharing your story as a way to get your message to consumers and create an emotional connection to your product or brand.
I truly believe in the power of this approach and was delighted to hear that the same approach was used this October to celebrate Agriculture Month in Saskatchewan.
Agriculture Month in Saskatchewan celebrates the industry and the farmers living and working in Saskatchewan and also has a goal to raise agricultural awareness. This year’s theme, #ourfoodhasastory, is a great way to engage with consumers about this topic.
What I love about storytelling is that it is a simple and engaging way to talk about tough topics or topics where there are a lot of different perspectives or uncertainty in the minds of consumers.
At Co-op, we are big on telling our story and wanted to align our efforts with Agriculture Month to help tell the story of our food from farm to table.
So here is what we did: First, we hosted Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Minister and industry partners at our Co-op food store to publicly announce October as Agriculture Month in Saskatchewan.
The next step was about the story. We decided to feature Bob Wallace, a producer behind one of our store brands products. When going through this process it seemed obvious to select our Co-op Gold Pure line of pulses since it is a new product for Co-op and 2016 was deemed International Year of the Pulse.
Once we had our product and our producer we simply told his story. What we found in the process is that there was more to Bob’s story than lentil production and how the products get to Co-op shelves for consumers to enjoy. He also had a story about Co-op and how his grandfather mortgaged their farm to help start up Consumers Co-operative Refinery, which supplies fuel to farmers and customers across Western Canada. Our lentil producer’s farm and his father were part of the Co-op story way before we started a partnership with them to develop our new product. Now that is the power of sharing a story!
We promoted the video through many of our communication channels (in-store, print and digital) this month to reach our target audience.
To build on this excitement, we hosted Saskatchewan pulse farmers at many of our Co-op food stores to talk about their story directly with Co-op shoppers. This will not only allowed an emotional connection to further develop, but also helped consumers understand where their food comes from. During these events we will be featured our Co-op Gold Pure pulses line to further make that connection from farm to fork.
The Co-op Gold Pure pulses line is a great product to feature as it is not only a locally-produced product sourced right here in Saskatchewan, but it also addresses the fact that many consumers are confused when it comes to how to cook and prepare pulses. On every package of Co-op Gold Pure pulses is a local recipe created by Top Chef Canada Winner Dale MacKay.
Our locally grown partnership with Dale MacKay has been a great way to tell our culinary story to our Co-op shoppers. Being able to connect our culinary story with our local producer story is a great win, especially since Dale too is a huge supporter of local agriculture.