Chefs Plate plays with cooking show conventions

The Canadian meal kit company takes a lighthearted look at cooking to position itself as a convenient option for time-starved millennials.

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If you can fill a pot with water, you’re qualified to prepare a line of products from meal kit company Chefs Plate, which is playing off of cooking show conventions in a new campaign aimed at showing how it can fit in the lives of time-starved millennials.

In “Conquer the Kitchen,” the host of a mock cooking show fills a pot and performs a “sexy towel flip” as if they were advanced techniques.

Lauren Wong, VP of marketing for Chefs Plate, says the campaign is a departure from the typical mom-targeted advertising seen in the category. The company is instead using humour and a youthful tone to emphasize the convenience and approachability of home cooking for beginners. She says the brand used a lighthearted approach to reinforce that cooking with Chefs Plate is a savvy “life hack” because the brand “takes care of the stressful parts of cooking.”

Wong says Chefs Plate is aiming to be the meal kit that democratizes cooking for everyone, but this campaign is specifically targeting millennials that are looking to fit preparing a home-cooked meal between their work schedules, social lives and “side hustles.”

Wong says the home food service category is a busy space and the umbrella of offerings is widening, both from other meal kits companies (such as HelloFresh and Prepd) as well as restaurant delivery services (like Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes and Foodora). Ultimately, Wong says, the goal is to shift consumers mindsets to view meal kits as a convenient and time-friendly option for moments when they might otherwise turn to delivery.

According to Wong, the brand has typically handled creative and campaign execution in-house, but for “Conquer the Kitchen” it opted to work with Crowdiate “for some fresh thinking.” The ad spend is similar to what it has invested years previous on broadcast channels, but the brand has shifted the spend to include more digital and outdoor ads. The campaign is running throughout the fall across social media and in high-traffic transit stations in downtown Toronto.