With millions of homes in America immersed in cookie-baking and menu-planning mayhem, McCormick & Co. has engineered two new digital initiatives on Facebook: The Big Cookie Share and the Merry Merry Menu Planner.
Knowing that recipe searches peak early in December, leading customers to stock up flavors like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla, the Sparks, Md.-based spice marketer wanted to inject itself into as many online conversations as possible.
The menu planner app is intended to ward off kvetching relatives, and allows users to select a meal category, such as brunch, cocktail party or dinner, and choose among menu items. The user then posts two theoretical menus to their Facebook page. Friends and family can vote on, let’s say, orange poppy seed muffins at brunch versus a cinnamon crumb cake, or a herbed beef rib roast versus golden clove glazed ham for Christmas dinner.
The Big Cookie Share app enables users to make digital cookies, add their own flavorings and a personalized message, which they can then send to Facebook buds, as well as post them on McCormick’s page: ”Sweet and nutty, just like you,” for instance, or “I make Gingerbread Schmucks every year.”
Users can print the customized recipes to use themselves, but also share via Facebook with friends and family. To publicize the event, McCormick tapped Kim Ima, owner of The Treats Truck, to serve cookies from her bakery-on-wheels in New York City. Ima also created a series of cookie recipes just for the event.
"At a time when laptops and tablets rival spatulas as the most-used kitchen tool,” the company says in its release, “we are offering our fans new ways to share the holiday spirit and create memorable taste experiences -- whether they're putting the holiday menu up for a vote or frosting Facebook cookies for faraway family members."
McCormick says Americans buy some 540 million ounces of spices, seasonings and extracts during November and December, including 19 million ounces of cinnamon, 3 million ounces of ginger and 32 million ounces of vanilla extract.