Truvia has printed a new set of inspirational messages on its packets, and is launching a “Sweet Matters” branding content partnership with Upworthy.com and Vanessa Hill, host of the PBS video series “BrainCraft.”
The sponsored content on Upworthy includes a “sweetness quiz” developed by Hill. Based on scientific findings about human beings’ altruistic tendencies and types of altruism, the quiz lets users determine which of four “sweetness types” they fall into (“purely,” “reciprocally,” “tactfully” or “graciously” sweet).
The content hub also offers original articles and videos about real people whose actions exemplify the various types of “sweetness” — for instance, a Pakistani immigrant whose restaurant serves thousands of free meals to the homeless each year. More content will be posted on Oct. 11.
The campaign is positioned as seeking to inspire people to do good each day, for their own well-being, as well as others’. “Being sweet to others not only spreads good in the world, but makes you feel better yourself,” states Hill, noting that the human brain reinforces acts of altruism with the release of a hormone associated with pleasant feelings (oxytocine, sometimes dubbed “the love hormone”).
Truvia is acting on its mission statement of “making sweet moments better” — in this case by sharing the stories of people who are making the world better and the 66 different “feel good” messages on its packets, the brand’s global marketing leader, A.J. Aumock, tells Marketing Daily.
One of the on-packet messages, “Put something good out there,” perfectly sums up what Truvia is “trying to do for our consumers,” he says. Other on-packet messages include “Enthusiasm is contagious” and “It’s a good day for a good day!”
Most (82%) of Upworthy’s audience members are the primary grocery shoppers in their households, 33% are women ages 25 to 34, and 69% are charitable givers, according to stats supplied by Truvia.
The brand’s content hub will be promoted through the end of the month with a series of organic and paid social posts on Upworthy’s Facebook and Twitter channels and Truvia’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels, as well as through additional paid social media. Influencer marketing is in the mix. The quiz will also be featured in Upworthy’s email newsletter on Oct. 10.
Hill -- a “science educator” whose PBS Digital Studios series explores psychology, neuroscience and human behavior, and has drawn more than 430,000 subscribers and 26 million views on YouTube since launching five years ago -- is helping to drive awareness of the quiz and the personality types through posts on her Twitter channel.
RF | Binder developed the content partnership with Upworthy, which created the articles and videos in collaboration with Truvia. The effort is being supported by Carmichael Lynch (Truvia’s lead creative agency) and Reprise Digital, handling branded social content development and media buying, respectively.
Earlier this year, Truvia launched an advertising campaign taglined “Pick Nature’s Sweetness. Pick Truvia,” which is running across digital, social and television.
Sucralose-based Splenda is the best-selling sugar substitute in the U.S., but 10-year-old Truvia, developed jointly by The Coca-Cola Company and Cargill, is #2, and promotes itself as “America’s #1 zero-calorie natural sweetener.” The Food and Drug Administration has yet to release a formal definition of “natural.”
Truvia contains rebiana, a high-purity version of a compound from the stevia plant, rebaudioside A; erythritol (sugar alcohol); and proprietary “natural flavors.”
In 2014, Cargill, while denying any wrongdoing, including misleading labeling or advertising, opted for an out-of-court settlement that consolidated four class-action suits claiming that the company’s natural claim was misleading. Specific terms regarding wording of claims and establishment of a $6.1 million settlement fund were part of the settlement, reported Food Business News.
Consumer concerns about artificial ingredients continue to help drive sales for products making “natural” or “clean” claims.
Truvia last month announced that “stevia-based” sweeteners, led by Truvia’s growth, now have combined sales that exceed the combined sales of “artificial” sugar substitutes. (Stevia sweetener sales rose 11.9%, while sales of sucralose, aspartame and saccharine sweeteners were down 6%, 8% and 5.9%, in the 52 weeks ended August 8, 2018, compared to the same period in 2017, according to data reported by Cargill based on Nielsen reporting parameters.)
Sales of Truvia’s Sugar Blends were up 11.8% in the 12 weeks ending Aug. 8 as compared to same period last year, and its packets and spoonable jar sales were up 3.8%, according to the Cargill-reported data.