Gardein helps flexitarians make the leap

ConAgra's plant-based brand is using personality quizzes to show curious cooks how easy it is to "cheat on meat."

Conagra Brands- Inc--Are you a cheater- Gardein encourages Canad

Gardein is taking a cue from the online dating world in its latest campaign, driving people to a personality quiz that will show people how easy it is to leave meat for the other (plant-based) fish in the sea.

The Conagra brand bills itself as the country’s top frozen meat alternative. And like its plant-based competition, it’s going after the flexitarian market, the fastest growing food category in the country, with a quarter of Canadians wanting to add more plant-based options to their diets, according to the company’s insights.

Gardein is asking people to take a personality quiz that will help consumers make an informed choice about the food dalliance that could most easily fit with their lifestyle, whether it’s cheating on meat with the brand’s beefless ground, “chick’n” strips, meatless meatballs and breakfast patties. In exchange, they can win a year’s supply of the plant-based products until May of next year.

According to Ian Roberts, VP and GM at Conagra Brands Canada, the company is looking to create excitement around Gardein in a fun way, informed by the sentiment that humans are novelty-seekers, but sometimes need a bit of a nudge to break habits that already fit into their day-to-day lives, and swapping Gardein into their favorite dishes is an easy way to try something new.

“We have gotten a bit more playful in encouraging consumers to try Gardein and switch things up from their typical routine,” Roberts says.

Roberts says Gardein is one of the fastest growing brands within the Conagra portfolio, pacing ahead of the frozen category as a whole, and says the variety it offers is a differentiator in a quickly growing sector that is dominated by buzzy brands like Beyond Meat, Field Roast and Impossible, which have entered the Canadian market with only a few products. He also say the ideal placement is both within plant-based aisles and beside meat on-shelf, in order to reach consumers who are already shopping specialty plant-based products and those who are more curious about trying something new.

It’s also a space that will continue to be a focus for the brand moving forward, building on last year’s occasion-based foray into breakfast with the launch of “saus’age” patties.

With the latest campaign, Gardein is using a range of media to drive people to the quiz: broadcast creative, digital ad buys, earned media outreach, chef partnerships and influencer relations, particularly focused on relationship experts who will provide advice around how to break out of mundane routines in life and the kitchen.

Harbinger is working alongside M & K, PerSe and Mars on the campaign.