Welcome Pack expands reach

An ontario food sampling promotion targetting new immigrants to Canada is expanding this month into b.c. and Quebec.Called the Canada Welcome Pack, the promotion began in 1989 in the Toronto area with close co-operation from companies making best-selling Kraft, Maxwell House,...

An ontario food sampling promotion targetting new immigrants to Canada is expanding this month into b.c. and Quebec.

Called the Canada Welcome Pack, the promotion began in 1989 in the Toronto area with close co-operation from companies making best-selling Kraft, Maxwell House, Heinz and Robin Hood brand products, among others.

Box of products

As part of the expanded promotion, newcomers to Canada will receive at no charge a box of 15 non-competing food and household products worth around $35.

They need only arrange a pick-up at outlets of Food City in Ontario, Overwaitea/Save On Foods in b.c. and Provigo in Quebec where packs under the Cadeaux de Beinvenue banner are handed out.

In total, 30,000 packs are due for distribution across the country this year, up from 18,000 in 1991.

Manufacturers supply the products and pay a participation fee to fund the program.

Knut Brundtland, a former marketing executive with Rowntree Mackintosh Canada and now president of Canada Welcome Pack, says the success of the promotion so far has been underlined by about a 60% re-purchase rate of brand products newcomers sample.

As well, major food makers have gained exposure to members of expanding ethnic communities not normally possible through traditional broad-stroke marketing channels.

Brundtland says the promotion reflects this country’s changing ethnicity.

‘Increasing immigration to Canada is a reality, and newcomers are very active consumers aggressively looking to be part of the Canadian economic fabric,’ he says.

Statistics

Current immigration to Canada will ensure visible minorities comprise almost 45% in Toronto, 40% in Vancouver and 20% in Montreal by 2001, according to a recent study by the Canadian Advertising Foundation.

The Welcome Pack concept aims at fostering brand loyalty on the strength of goodwill from newcomers towards participating products and a welcoming Canada.

Brundtland is quick to add the pack is a marketing tool, not corporate charity.

‘Sampling works when aimed at a target group,’ he says. ‘And Canada Welcome Pack delivers a defined target group to marketers.’

Advertisements for the Welcome pack are being placed in local ethnic publications, but news of the offer is spread mostly by word of mouth.