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Advancing the private label agenda at Lobaw


Canada’s leading food and drug retailer Loblaw Companies is highly regarded for its private label prowess and now its President’s Choice brand is the focus of the most ambitious marketing initiative ever.

President’s Choice is already Canada’s number one selling packaged goods brand, according to Nielsen data, but Loblaw wants to drive further growth and is doing so with an aptly named campaign called Crave More. The premise is this: Loblaw is encouraging customers to expect more from their food at a time when they are caring and talking more about attributes such as value, quality, taste, sources, ingredients and excitement of what they eat.

"In an age when curiosity and scrutiny surround the purchase and enjoyment of food, President's Choice will remain Canada's most thoughtful and engaged food brand," said Galen Weston, Loblaw’s executive chairman and president. "Today's customer craves more distinct and exotic flavors. They crave more knowledge about what is healthy and what is not. They crave information about where their food comes from and how it is made. And they are engaging every day in passionate conversations about food quality, taste and trust."

To support the 30 year old brand’s new era, Loblaw has launched what it says is its most ambitious and comprehensive campaign ever. It includes a modified brand position, an innovative television and print campaign, and a re-imagined digital and social media presence. It has also re-invented its web site, which now includes a focus on lively content, a custom online community for food discussions, and a regionalized Canadian food-trend tracker, the Food Pulse Index, created through a new initiative with Google Canada.

"The President's Choice brand has led and served Canadian taste buds and food interests for three decades," said Weston, who appears in new ads. "We've never witnessed a time when our role as a food manufacturer and retailer has meant more. The modernization of our brand will mean more food innovation, greater consciousness around product sourcing and ingredients, and a heartier dialogue with Canadians who share our excitement and curiosity."

A new 60-second ad aired recently celebrating food discovery – from the first time someone harvested honey from a buzzing hive and heated corn until it popped. The ad closes with Weston in the President’s Choice kitchen stating, “If you don't search for more, you'll never find it." A second spot celebrates the natural colors of food.

The launch of Crave More is supported with a re-imagined digital and social media presence. For example, the brand’s Web site is now oriented to initiate and host exploration of food trends, led by unique video, editorial and images from a newly assembled brand journalism team. The site will also amplify the Canadian food conversation by seeking and presenting food-related social media posts, and will host food-related discussions on its newly created online community.

Another innovative approach involves the use of Google search insights available with the Food Pulse Index. The index is the first to track food trends nationally and by province, on the basis of Google search insights, according to the company. Insights will be grouped by theme, search trends will be assessed against thousands of related words and terms, information will be assessed regionally and nationally, and the results will be presented visually and with editorial at the Web site.

Loblaw operates more than 1,050 grocery stores throughout Canada and earlier this year acquired the Shoppers Drug Mart chain giving it a pharmacy presence of more than 1,250 locations.

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