From FCC Express, by Owen Roberts
Ontario’s pork sector is reporting positive results from a new branding campaign that seizes on the popularity of local food grown by local farmers.
The point-of-purchase campaign features a stylized check-mark symbol above the words Ontario Pork. Supporting collateral – shelf dividers, stickers for packaging, counter signage, label rolls and shelf danglers – describe the product as “nutritious, delicious and farm-fresh.”
The campaign was launched last year with 12 retailers, and is now at almost 60 users – retailers, as well as food service distributors, restaurants and farmers who sell at farm gate.
A recent survey commissioned by Foodland Ontario showed 35 per cent of survey participants recognized the Ontario Pork check-mark symbol.
The producers’ organization is now gathering specific growth figures. Kevin Mosser, Ontario Pork retail and food service marketing specialist, says two retailers recently reported 20 per cent sales increases in the last quarter.
He attributes the sales increase to several factors.
“The rising price of beef has created the opportunity for consumers to take a closer look at incorporating pork into their meals more often,” he says. “This factor, combined with the recent interest of shoppers and diners to support the local economy, presents an opportunity to promote the efforts of Ontario farmers and help connect partners along the supply chain.”
Mosser says Ontario pork’s appeal to consumers starts with the farmers themselves. In Ontario, 98 per cent of hog farms are family owned and operated.
“They play a very active role in the community and support many local charities including the Ontario Association of Food Banks and the Heart and Stroke Foundation,” he says.
Mosser says the new check-mark campaign allows retail and foodservice partners to promote and support locally raised pork. Also, it serves as a tool for consumers who are looking for local pork.
“It can understandably be daunting at the grocery store for consumers to know where the pork they are buying is from,” he says. “Consumers can now feel comfortable knowing that products carrying the Ontario pork label have been raised by a local farmer.”
Restaurants have been using the logo on their websites and menus, and there are some additional materials currently in development for them.