Mrs.Smith’s Desserts

Mrs. Smith's Fret-Free Desserts

Project

Rountree Group’s collaborative and creative efforts to conduct secondary research and event planning and execution on behalf of Mrs. Smith’s Bakeries.

Mrs. Smith’s Bakeries is the country’s largest producer and marketer of frozen pies. Industry research shows that the frozen pie category is declining in sales overall as consumers turn to other types of desserts.

 

Objective

  • Communicate product convenience
  • Stimulate purchase by communicating usage ideas
  • Generate positive impressions for key consumption periods
  • Support planned events throughout the year
  • Support launch of new products

Research

Primary and secondary research conducted by Mrs. Smith’s revealed that consumers don’t have time to bake from scratch, however, they do want to be involved in some portion of meal preparation. Focus group participants indicated they like the concept of taking a frozen product and “making it their own” to serve to family and friends.

TARGET AUDIENCES

  • Current top consumers (women 45 to 55+)
  • New consumers (women 24 to 45)
  • Food opinion leaders
  • Consumer print and TV media

Implementation

  • To launch new FlipIt Cake product, negotiated sponsorship of National Gymnastics Day and supported fundraising program in gyms across the country
  • To promote new cream pies, developed a mobile tour that traveled to key sales markets throughout the Southeast, visiting grocery store headquarters, selected stores and public events
  • Focused on ease of preparation for new microwaveable cakes targeted to tweens
  • Conducted media outreach and events related to Halloween
  • Created news coverage related to National Pie Day in January and Mrs. Smith’s awards at the National Pie Council Award competition in February
  • Created newsworthy seasonal television concepts for satellite media tour in key sales markets
  • Piqued editors’ interest by delivering pies for product sampling
  • Developed highly creative press kits to grab media attention
  • Produced lifestyle and product photos to demonstrate various entertaining occasions to media and to post on Web site
  • Created story angles on toppings/recipes for the consumer to “make it their own” and to encourage additional purchases of product
  • Implemented aggressive print and broadcast media relations program with media outreach timed to key selling periods, including those outside the traditional holidays
  • Gymnasts gather pledges for number of flips they will perform during Mrs. Smith’s FlipIt Cake
  • Flip-A-Thon event
  • Product available for sampling at events; coupons distributed

STAFFING

Five staff members worked on the account team (part time)

Results

  • Media coverage highlighted ease of preparation and convenience
  • Nearly 60 million media impressions achieved
  • Clever press materials and effective media contacts achieved significant increase in coverage during traditionally difficult first quarter over previous year (16.7 million media impressions compared to 10 million)
  • Highly successful launch of new cream pies, with sales well above projected levels
  • Mobile tour seen by more than 66,000 people
  • Nearly 14,000 pies slices and coupons distributed in eight markets during 10-week mobile tour
  • New microwaveable cakes now sold at country’s largest grocery retailer (sales data not yet available