Bimbo relaunches Oroweat to reach organic bread lovers

From Shopper Marketing Report: Windmills and other green touchstones play up the brand's sustainability in-store.


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Bimbo has been investing heavily across it portfolio of bread and bakery products, most recently giving its 130-year old Pom brand a makeover. But this week, it is looking to reach consumers looking for sustainability in their food purchases by re-launching a new brand in Canada.

Oroweat was previously owned by Weston Bakeries – though it was sold to Bimbo in 2002 as it acquired some of the Canadian company’s U.S. businesses, Weston retained the license to the brand in Canada. Now it has re-acquired the rights to the organic brand, and it’s launching three SKUs in major Western Canada grocery banners (near its production facility in British Columbia).

Bimbo took its the highest performing SKUs from the U.S. for the launch, adapting the formula a bit to fit the Canadian palette, which is not as sweet.


According to Mary Bewick Clowater, senior marketing manager for the Stonemill and Oroweat brands at Bimbo Canada, the brand’s key differentiator is that it’s “sustainably baked,” a phrase used in its creative and display prominently on-pack. It’s something the brand backs up in its practices: the bread is baked entirely with renewable energy, delivered using green fuel and its waste products are converted to animal feed.

These are all factors that are referenced in its in-store and digital marketing. All of its corrugates are made with recycled material, cardboard-brown accented with the colour green “to promo an organic, good for you feel,” Bewick Clowater says, and images of wind turbines stretching out from the ground. Its packaging also details all of these practices, as as well as the fact that it works with Bullfrog Power in its manufacturing, something she adds could be rolled out to other Bimbo brands.

But at the end of the day, it is also about the food, and there is also a large, prominent sandwich jutting out from the globe that also appears in its logo, which Bewick Clowater says is to make sure there is still the “appetite appeal.”

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Bimbo is also reinforcing its green MO with donations of one per cent of all Oroweat Organic revenues to 1% For The Planet, an organization that helps businesses divert a portion of their sales to environmental non-profits.

The reason its targeting the west with the launch, Bewick Clowater says, is that consumers there are very concerned about what they’re eating and love organic products with no GMO or artificial flavours, especially if they are local. A survey conducted by the brand showed that 85% of B.C. residents are more aware of the importance of supporting locally-sourced food as a result of the pandemic, with one in three more likely to prioritize local food, regardless of their household income. When it comes to sustainability, 75% of B.C. residents are more aware of the importance of eating sustainably and the environmental impacts of their food choices, 48% worry that the “new normal” will impact their renewed efforts to shop and eat sustainably.

Bimbo also has a strong e-commerce program with retailers for the launch, reflecting a spike in bread purchases due to COVID for other Bimbo products like Stonemill. From May to June, Stonemill saw a definite increase in ecommerce from its own consumer-facing websites as well, Bewick Clowater says, and Bimbo has revamped the site to show more appetite appeal, and it is better communicating its natural fermentation positioning. Bewick Clowater expects its ecommerce to keep growing.

The launch is being supported on social to drive awareness, as well as an influencer play with Vancouver dietitian Stephanie Dang, a frequent nutrition consultant for brands who has also worked with the BC Children’s Hospital.

Cundari is the creative agency, Starcom is the media agency and Citizen handled public relations.