Loblaws turns a love of food into a love of cooking

The grocer uses a kid's perspective to get a more creative look at the changing role of food in families' lives.

With more Canadians cooking at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Loblaws is continuing to embrace a love of food, but also the home-cooking experience, shown in a new campaign through the eyes of children.

The new campaign, “If You’re Cooking, You’re A Cook,” created by John St., shows how dishes that wouldn’t normally be tremendously appealing to children – like asparagus and salad – can be improved upon by adding items like bacon, fruit and lobster into the mix, all told through the eyes of a child, complete with bright colours and complemented with cartoony animations. The campaign also highlights how Loblaws’ products can help make those individuals who are not “cooks,” a cook.

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The campaign has a clear link to the grocer’s “Food Lovers Unite,” masterbrand platform, with its “if you love food, you’re a food lover” tagline. Wes Brown, VP of marketing at Loblaws, said the main message of this new campaign continues to enforce the critical role Loblaws plays in feeding Canadians, but has more of an emphasis on families and how now, in the context of a pandemic, the role of feeding Canadians has “never been more important,” Brown adds.

“Whether it be a source of sustenance, joy, escape, comfort or control, food has played a key role in helping households get through [the pandemic],” he says. “People who were into food before are even more into it now. People who weren’t, have found themselves thrust into the kitchen.

“We thought that changing the perspective from our target customer of makers and bakers to what kids are seeing and experiencing in this moment was an interesting way in. This approach allowed us to have our quality food continue to be the hero, while layering in some fun, fantastical elements through the eyes of a child.”

In a survey conducted earlier this by Dalhousie University, 68.4% of Canadians said they wanted to spend more time preparing food at home, prompted by the new health and safety realities brought on by the pandemic.

But with more Canadians cooking more frequently at home, keeping meals fun and innovative can be a challenge. “Whether cooking dinner, lunch, breakfast and all the snacks in between, we know that now more than ever, Canadians need support in solving meals for their families, and we want to be that ‘food-loving’ friend that’s there to help,” Brown says. “Whether it’s a new recipe or an old favourite, ingredients with new twists, techniques and skills, we are here for all cooks.”

The campaign’s media buy was handled by Loblaws Media and Dentsu. It’s appearing on TV, along with paid digital and social.