Grocery retailers Coborn’s, SpartanNash and Wakefern Food Corp. on Tuesday were honored with Gold Plate awards from the FMI Foundation for their programs that help families stay strong with family meals. Awards were also presented to Campbell Soup Co., the National Pork Board and U.S. Dry Pea & Lentil Council and “Rising Star” The Grocery Gal.
This year, the FMI Foundation also created a new category, “Covid-19 Heroes,” to recognize charitable programs that help all families share meals together. The winners were Hy-Vee Inc. and The Giant Company.
The awards were announced at the first-ever “Supper Bowl” championship held in conjunction with the virtual FMI Midwinter Executive Conference.
The Supper Bowl, a fund-raising program supporting the FMI Foundation, celebrates the growth of the Family Meals Movement and involves retailers and suppliers competing for the title of “Best Family Meal.” On Tuesday, attendees of the live, online Supper Bowl event watched food industry chefs create the finalist’s recipes with commentary from Chef Robert Irvine and live voting determined the first-ever Supper Bowl Champion, which was awarded to Hy-Vee and Chef Beau Ketchum for their stuffed pork chops with a Brussels sprouts side and apple pie rosettes family meals recipe.
“The Gold Plate Awards and Supper Bowl competition both highlight the outstanding work the food industry is doing as part of the Family Meals Movement,” said David Fikes, executive director of the FMI Foundation. “Family meals help us stay strong by boosting fruit and vegetable consumption and connectiveness, which support overall personal health. The food industry continues to provide shoppers creative and easy meal solutions as families face new shopping and meal habits brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Here is a complete list of Gold Plate winners:
Category A (retailers with 1 to 49 stores) Winner:
Coborn’s “Kids Cook at Home for National Family Meals Month!” program.
The campaign focused on getting kids involved with family meals through Coborn’s Kids Cook at Home virtual cooking class series led by a Coborn’s registered dietitian. About 116 kids attended the classes with their families to make recipes like 10-minute burrito bowls and quesadillas. The campaign also included: TV appearances, meal solution endcaps, weekly circular, Facebook lives, social media, dietitian's digest email blast and in-store displays.
Category B (retailers with 50 – 199 stores) Winner:
SpartanNash Company, “Family Meals at Home” program.
The campaign’s goal was to provide awareness, empowering resources, skills, inspiration and an increased virtual presence to harness the power and healthfulness of family meals overall (i.e., cooking, cleaning, eating). Through weekly ad circulars, local TV segments, recipes, and social media, SpartanNash attained over 11.5 million printed ad impressions, 22,000 media campaign impressions, 2 million Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest impressions, and over 30,000 National Family Meals Month stickers on rotisserie chicken purchases.
Category C (retailers with 200 or more stores)
Wakefern Food Corp., “Just Add Family” program.
Wakefern focused its campaign on customer engagement, in-store execution, digital and social media, as well as community and associate engagement. Wakefern made sure to maintain Covid-19 safety throughout their stores by using cardboard cutouts of their registered dietitians at their in-store events. Wakefern brought families to the table with their mass media campaign that captured over 12 million impressions through 20 media stories (TV, print, and online) about National Family Meals Month. Their campaign #JustAddFamily had over 63,000 impressions and 10,000 engagements on Instagram; 215,000 organic impressions on ShopRite accounts; 3.2 million billboard views; and a 28% increase in sales from last year’s National Family Meals Month.
Food Manufacturer Category
Campbell Soup Company, “Campbell Helps Families Stay Strong with Family Meals” program.
The goal of the campaign was to inspire stakeholders to stay strong with their family meals through quick scratch-cooking solutions. To do this, Campbell’s created circular ads with recipes containing seven or fewer ingredients. Campbell’s mass media campaign included stories and recipes from across the employee spectrum including the CEO. Campbell’s also continued its tradition of having a special edition of its health professional newsletter promoting National Family Meals Month resources and inspiration, which was distributed to 20,000 health professionals with a 13% open rate. Across all social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn), Campbell’s logged in over 22,500 impressions.
Community Collaborator Category
National Pork Board and the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council, “Powerful Pairings” program.
This campaign and website focused on nutrients and cost-effective protein options in family meals. The website was populated with hundreds of recipes and educational materials based on customer demographics: Millennials, Adults/Gen X, Hispanic Heritage Inspired and Family Meals. The breakdown allowed people to easily find recipes familiar to their taste buds and that spoke to them specifically. The multimedia campaign included social media, email blasts, videos and 10 cooking demonstration TV segments. The Family Feature Videos had a total of 65,200 impressions, and over 226,000 engagements; the press releases received over 2,000 views and hits; and the email blasts had a 27% open rate. With support from grocery retailer partners like K-VAT, powerfulpairings.org reached over 2,000 unique views and close to 500 material downloads.
Rising Star Category
The Grocery Gal, “The Grocery Gal Presents Family Meals Month,” social media campaign.
Oklahoma’s The Grocery Gal used her blog to promote National Family Meals Month at two local grocery stores: Shelton’s Grocery and Walters Hometown Grocery (both members of the Affiliated Foods of Amarillo Texas association) and collaborated with the Oklahoma Grocers Association to promote her social media campaigns. She brought the benefits of family meals home, literally, by highlighting her own family in the kitchen and provided each store with 500 copies of a dinner time meal planner and 300 copies of a weekly cost-effective, easy recipe. In addition to completely running out of printed material (2,200 total impressions), The Grocery Gal engaged with kids at the stores with a coloring contest and hung up drawings in each store, culminating in 50 colored plates total. Through Facebook, The Grocery Gal reached over 37,500 people; engaged over 600 people on Instagram; and reached over 400 in-person customers a day. At the end of September, The Grocery Gal was asked to extend the program by store customers.
Hy-Vee, Inc., 2020 National Family Meals Month™ campaign, built on the theme of “coming together.”
During National Family Meals Month, Hy-Vee typically hosts “Kids Eat Free Fridays” at their restaurants; this year Hy-Vee also set up a contactless drive-thru to give away free meals to low-income families in select communities. Hy-Vee also donated meals and services to family center organizations specializing in restoring and building family relationships and assisting children/adults who experience difficult circumstances.
The Giant Company, “For Today’s Table,” campaign.
Giant program reached thousands of people, and utilized their social media prowess in some new ways. For every photo shared with the hashtag #ForTodaysTable, Giant donated the cash equivalent, and provided over 100 meals to neighborhoods in need. Additionally, Giant made sure to support their local nonprofit organizations by donating over $2 million to those supporting hunger relief efforts. GIANT’s generosity did not stop there - they focused on the importance of giving back internally. GIANT provided $100 in Grocery Dollars to each of their 35,000 team members; 500 team members decided to give back through volunteering at local food banks.
In addition, the FMI Foundation recognizes Produce for Better Health and Common Threads for their ongoing partnership in the Family Meals Movement.