As Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, CPG makers are capitalizing on not only increased interest in their products, but also a holiday season that will consist of smaller gatherings with more first-time cooks.
The Campbell Soup Company provides hosts with a level of security with Dinner Insurance, a promise to provide a replacement for New York City residents who mess up every side dish on Thanksgiving between noon and 5:00 p.m. ET.
Dinner Insurance’s goal is also to calm the nerves during an uncertain holiday season: Campbell’s internal survey results show that 66% of rookie chefs are concerned about failing completely.
“Our goal at Dinner Insurance is to remind everyone that even in the toughest times, Campbell’s can make the vacation easier and more delicious with our classic side dish recipes,” said Linda Lee, CMO of Campbell’s Meals and Beverages segment in a statement.
In conjunction with the offering, the company is launching a website featuring four popular Thanksgiving side dish recipes from Campbell’s portfolio of brands that are easy to master for beginners: Campbell’s iconic green bean casserole, Swanson mashed potatoes and savory filling from Pepperidge Farm and Holidays Brie en Croute.
The idea grew out of trying to help people and add value when “anything and everything is unpredictable,” said Lee. It’s also a motivation for consumers to reach for Campbell’s when preparing their vacation menus – especially for first-time cooks who don’t have any ingredients yet.
This focus on attracting first-time chefs is exactly why Campbell chose Manhattan as a giveaway. Additional research shows that roughly one in three residents of the district will be a new vacation spot this year, which is above the national average of a fifth. Data from the Consumer Brands Association, a trade group, shows that 68% of Americans plan to spend this Thanksgiving Day at home or with a nearby friend or family member.
“We’ll have 100 pages on Thanksgiving Day, so hopefully that’s more than enough,” Lee said. She also noted that Campbell’s plans to donate all unclaimed dishes to avoid any food waste.
Campbell’s is jumping on a major pandemic trend in the CPG space. Food and beverage companies like PepsiCo and McCormick & Company have created recipes and cooking content for people looking for creative inspiration at home.
“By publishing recipes with their products, manufacturers are showing consumers new ways to use their products that can increase sales by increasing usage patterns,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage analyst at NPD Group.
It’s also a way to attract new consumers long after the vacation is over. Lee said the increase in cooking has a good chance of staying in a post-pandemic world because of the rewards it offers.
“We have heard this real appreciation from our consumers for having the family at this table and for this moment, and how a home-cooked meal really is this center,” she said.
In May, a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 69% of adults in the United States who have spent more time cooking since the outbreak said the activity had improved their quality of life.
Several food companies are looking for innovative ways to celebrate the unusual Christmas season. Kraft Heinz’s Stove Top filling brand sells a limited line of inexpensive evening wear that includes cufflinks, a scarf, and a tuxedo to encourage people to ditch months of sweatpants on Thanksgiving. Poultry producer Perdue has made two types of turkey nuggets that the company calls ThanksNuggets: a turkey-shaped version with white meat that tastes like sweet potato and a drumstick-shaped offering with dark meat that includes hints of stuff and cranberry sauce.
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