Bob Evans is rolling out a summer picnic menu and promotion designed to bring that special summer eating experience to everyone, no matter where they choose to experience it.
The family-style restaurant commissioned a national survey of more than 2,500 consumers to delve deeper into Americans' love of picnics.
The survey found that picnics are about more than just food; 86% of respondents loved to picnic because it provided an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. In addition, it turns out that while being outside was considered an important part of picnicking, more than 58% of respondents had staged an indoor picnic in the last year.
The summer picnic menu is available both in restaurants and as a to-go picnic feast for a limited time. It includes items that elicit fond warm-weather memories, including herb roasted chicken, specialty sides and lemonade bread, along with strawberry supreme pie and chicken salad sliders.
The brand is promoting the menu on a microsite and is inviting consumers to share their “perfect picnic photos” on social media using #PerfectPicnic.
“We are supporting the new Bob Evans Summer picnic menu in many ways, including television, radio, digital and social as well as promotional menus and merchandising in-restaurant,” says Sara Bittorf, SVP, chief marketing officer of Bob Evans. “In addition, in our home state of Ohio, we are having pop-up picnic activation events.”
MMB is producing the upcoming TV spots. The brand’s public relations agency, Sedlock Partners, and social agency, MXM, provided additional promotional support. Norton Creative produced the menu merchandising and Horizon is the brand’s media agency of record.
The effort is targeted at a wide audience because “everyone loves picnics,” Bittorf says.
“Picnics are quintessentially American and truly touch the hearts and minds of our guests,” Bittorf tells Marketing Daily. “From the survey, we learned that people love picnics because it gives them a chance to spend quality time with their loved ones. That is what Bob Evans is all about — helping people connect over great food in a friendly atmosphere.”
The company honors the memory of its founder and incorporates his principles, like treating strangers like family and family like friends, into its menu and promotions, she says.
“Bob and his wife Jewell loved to throw picnics for their loved ones so the summer picnic menu provided a perfect opportunity to bring Bob’s values and ideals to our guests every day,” Bittorf adds.