Athenos Feta Campaign Yields Fast Results
A campaign employing food bloggers, Facebook and other social media, a fitness club partnership and print advertising has yielded a 9% sales volume lift for the Athenos Feta Cheese brand in its first three months, reports Athenos brand manager Marshall Hyzdu.
Athenos, made by Kraft Foods subsidiary Churny Company, Inc. (also makers of Polly-O, Hoffman's Cheese and other brands), is the leading Greek food brand, with about 50% market share, according to Hyzdu.
The "Make a Change for the Feta" campaign is anchored in a straightforward call to action: Make a simple change by topping salads with Athenos Feta instead of cheddar cheese, and consume one-third less fat and 30% fewer calories, without sacrificing flavor.
Currently, about 80% of cheese used as salad toppings is cheddar, and Athenos' mission is to change that habit by using the multiple marketing platforms to "help people experience [feta's] nutritional difference and sharing new ways consumers can expand their palate and make simple changes that offer surprising health benefits," sums up Hyzdu.
Timing the campaign to make the most of lighter summer eating habits, Athenos declared July to be "Summer Salad Month."
The brand's new Facebook fan page, launched in January and already boasting more than 57,000 fans, is tying together and supporting the other campaign elements.
Efforts began in May with ads in leading women's and entertainment magazines (Better Homes and Gardens, People and InStyle , among others). Print schedules continue through August issues.
Athenos partnered with 10 leading food bloggers (Tina Haupert of Carrots 'N' Cake and Veronica Noone of Green Lite Bites, to name two), having them top their own salads with Athenos Feta each day during "Summer Salad Month" and then share their experiences, recipes and tips and encourage other brand fans to do the same.
To build on the momentum, Athenos has now added a Facebook tab with an app specifically designed for easily submitting and sharing recipes through Facebook, Twitter and email. The app also enables fans to review recipes, sort through them by meal/fan ratings/date submitted, and view only fan-submitted recipes. The area also showcases the "recipe of the day" -- one for each day during July, for example.
Thus far, the spokesbloggers have written about 160 blog posts, 85 Facebook posts and 170 tweets -- which together with the print ads, add up to an estimated 1.5 million impressions thus far, reports Hyzdu. Athenos is also rewarding Facebook fans with coupons and offering games and other engagement devices.
"The level of engagement and excitement around sharing and trying new ways to enjoy Athenos Feta has been enormous, and it will be ongoing," Hyzdu says. "We're building lasting brand equity, as well as volume."
In addition, through a partnership program running from July into September, Life Time Fitness locations are featuring, in their on-site cafés, a specially created signature Greek salad made with Athenos Feta. "It's been great -- the salads are flying off the shelves," says Hyzdu.
The partnership also includes Athenos campaign signage in each facility and distribution of branded recipe books and water bottles.
Athenos will continue to build on the social media buzz and consumers' growing interest in "eating the healthy Mediterranean way," says Hyzdu, who notes that the brand's hummus line is benefiting from its differentiation as the only leading brand made with 100% olive oil.