How shopper marketers could join a movement

Martin Rydlo shares how Campbell and Metro have been working with communities to alleviate hunger.

By Martin Rydlo

A common theme lately has been the idea of brands joining social movements – aligning their values with those of customers.

Each month, almost 900,000 Canadians rely on food banks in their communities, with children and youth making up 38% of patrons.

Working with partners at Food Banks Canada, Daily Bread Food Bank and the World Food Programme, Campbell Company Canada joined the movement to alleviate hunger in communities across Canada. The Help Hunger Disappear program began five years ago, and has supported Canadian food banks through the donation of wholesome, shelf-stable foods.

Most recently, Campbell and grocery store Metro in Ontario rallied around the campaign to help raise donations for food and funds as part of the Easter Drive that many Ontario food banks rely on to last them through the summer.

We worked to integrate our respective community partners, including the Ontario Association of Food Banks, university students and faculty, and local businesses to create programs across 135 stores. For example, with the help of Ryerson students, we launched a street festival and raised more than 1,360 kg of food at the Gould Street Metro. Hunger among students is a very real issue, so when Campbell and Metro approached the Ryerson students to get involved, they jumped at the opportunity.

In Burlington, a local radio station was brought in to promote the event at the Appleby Line Metro store, which included students from a local school greeting shoppers, an auction to raise funds and a giant display of Campbell’s soup products to drive ease of donation and drop-off into a giant shopping cart. Again the event was successful in raising more than 68 kg and close to $1,000 for Partnership West, the local food bank.

Each year we look for ways to deepen the community engagement of our Help Hunger Disappear program through more partnerships with local food banks, media outlets and student groups. That could even include partnering with other like-minded brands committed to helping to alleviate hunger.  A common purpose and passion can produce amazing results.

Martin Rydlo is marketing director, Campbell Company of Canada.

For more on how brands can join social movements, see our upcoming May edition of strategy, where industry experts weigh in on the social movement of urban renewal.