Kettle Foods takes out innovation and creativity award

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 6th August 2008

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which represents the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies, has announced that it has awarded The Clorox Company and Kettle Foods, Inc. the 2008 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity. Now in its sixth year, the prize is given to companies who have demonstrated uncommon creativity, innovation, and have made a significant contribution to the industry knowledge base.”A critical function of GMA is to foster learning, innovation and collaboration in all sectors of the consumer packaged goods industry, and this award is representative of that mission,” advised GMA President and CEO Cal Dooley. “It is ingenuity such as that demonstrated by Clorox and Kettle Foods that allows our industry to grow, thrive and most importantly, satisfy its consumers.”

In 2008 GMA evaluated award applications in two divisions, bestowing one award to manufacturers with total sales below $1 billion (Division A) and one award to manufacturers with total sales of $1 billion or more (Division B).

Kettle Foods, Inc. took the Division A award for its now annual “People’s Choice” campaign in which consumers can purchase and vote online for the new chip flavours they want Kettle Brand to introduce into the market. The campaign, which exists almost exclusively online, marries consumer engagement, public relations and product development into one program that to date has been executed with astonishingly low input costs. Among the returns on this nominal investment have been more than 11,000 new business leads, more than 7,000 new flavour suggestions, and 75,000 unique Web site visits.

“‘The People’s Choice’ promotion taught us that it is essential to be authentic to your brand,” said Michelle Peterman, vice president of marketing, Kettle Foods, Inc. “Kettle Foods is a smaller company with a beloved brand. We capitalized on those qualities, which ultimately allowed us to fill a gap in our product offering, generate valuable earned media and foster significant brand engagement. We are honored that GMA has chosen to recognize our success.”

The Division B award went to The Clorox Company for the conception, development and launch of their Green Works line of natural cleaners. While not exactly related to the food industry, the success of their marketing campaign does highlight the importance of PR and a meticulous, well thought-out marketing plan to the successful launch of a new product. Additionally, their work with major retailers, such as Safeway (US) and Wal-Mart, in product development and in-store promotion outlined the benefits of fostering a good relationship with retail customers.

“We are thrilled to be honoring these most-deserving winners who represent the best of the CPG industry,” said AMC CPG Award Subcommittee Chairman Peter Brandt of SAP. “Clorox not only developed a superior product with a challenging set of criteria, but also did everything else right – from their comprehensive marketing campaign that included various forms of viral marketing and social networking to collaborating with retail partners to yield remarkable business results. Kettle Foods’ ‘People’s Choice’ campaign is an impressive model for building brand loyalty and engaging consumers to better serve them, accomplished in a way that was very cost-effective for the company and compelling to the consumer.”

The official awards presentation will be made at the GMA Merchandising, Sales and Marketing Conference to be held from September 21-23, 2008. For more information on the CPG Award for Innovation and Creativity please visit: www.gmaonline.org/awardssurvey/cpg.cfm.