How a Manitoba Vegetable Supplier Made Potatoes Great Again
Peak of the Market has been supplying Manitoba’s restaurants and grocers with fresh produce since it was founded in 1942. Tracking produce sales trends, the company noticed that Canadians were slowing down on potato consumption. The grower-owned, not-for-profit company engaged Think Shift to help reverse this trend.
Preliminary research showed potatoes – the mainstay of older generations – aren’t considered a delicacy for carb-conscious millennials. Taking to the streets of Winnipeg to ask people what they thought, many associated spuds with starchiness, higher calories, and lower nutritional value. People simply didn’t know that potatoes are a vegetable, nor that they are quite healthy. This needed to change.
The strategy was to reinvent the potato, showcasing its appeal by humorously launching a new product – the “Potahto.” We launched a microsite that featured a mocumentary, food facts, and delicious recipes.
Billboards and point-of-purchase displays attracted attention to the distinctive Potahto brand both outdoors and in the grocery store. Social media activation on Twitter and Facebook amplified the message of the campaign through the Potahto Lovers of Manitoba community. Pinterest recipes and how-to videos on YouTube engaged consumers in the potahto movement.
The heart of the campaign – Potahto Week – featured potato recipes designed by 48 of Winnipeg’s up-and-coming, trendy restaurants. Fans voted on the best dish. The event attracted the attention of influential local media. During the six months we ran this campaign, 17,600 people visited the microsite and 200 people signed up for the newsletter. There were over 100,000 video views and social media attracted over 1200 new fans! Peak of the Market achieved the brand recognition they were seeking and the Potahto campaign won the 2018 Signature Awards best campaign, showcasing Manitoba’s best advertising, marketing and design.