Nando’s opens an inspiring new contest

The restaurant-slash-hot-sauce brand believes giving people a chance to pursue their new passions has stopping power.

Nando-s Canada-Looking to Fire Up Your Future- Nando-s PERi-PERi

Nando’s is being inspired by inspiration.

The family restaurant, which has extended into becoming a CPG hot sauce brand, is giving consumers a chance to win a share of $50,000 through its latest social and shopper-led campaign, “Find Your Sauce of Inspiration.”

Buyers of Nando’s Peri-Peri chili pepper sauce are being invited to share the details of a new hobby, community project or business venture for an opportunity to win the prize that could help fund their new passion.

“We have very humble beginnings ourselves. Two guys in South Africa discovered this sauce and thought, ‘dream big, make it happen,’ and now we are a global brand,” says Poonam Docherty, shopper marketing director at Nando’s.

The fact that 2020 was a tough year is what made “Sauce of Inspiration” such a great brand fit, Docherty says. This is for anybody for anyone with a dream, who has picked up new skills, or has a community project they want to launch, she says.

The social campaign reinforces the “inspiration” message. In-restaurant and in-store, it comes to life with shippers, neck-tags and also a big bottle standee (pictured) in centre aisle grocery. Shopper collateral is tagged with “got a dream that needs a kick-start?”

Nandos-imageDocherty says the brand has always had a very strong grocery business and great partners in order to be able to pull off these activations. The point, Docherty says, is to create a disruption in store.

“People want to get in and out so we have QR codes,” she says. “We wanted to make it interactive, quick, and easy to find.” If budget wasn’t an issue, the inspiration message would’ve been recreated on pack too, she adds.

However, recent Peri-Peri packaging changes do include beefed up health claims, as it’s keto and vegan-friendly, Kosher, and Halal.

She also says its “free from nasties” (harmful ingredients), which helps the brand as a unique selling point but there are other competitive advantages too.

According to Docherty, while the Peri-Peri product sits within the hot sauce set, its usage is very different.

“We are not a drop-by-drop cayenne based-product like Frank’s,” she explains. The sauce can also be used as a marinade, condiment and cooking ingredient, she says.

The current campaign was informed by “Hungry for Something Else,” a U.S. campaign for Nando’s restaurant business last year  around voter registration, but which included a sauce-based contest to make recipes and spur inspiration around mealtime solutions. According to Docherty, the brand was impressed by 200 entries, given people had to buy the product, create a recipe, document it, and send it to the brand.

“For us, consumers are still looking for inspiration and are still looking to add variety to their meals and try new things,” she says.

Nando’s restaurant presence in Canada has helped spur awareness of its CPG business, Docherty says, adding that Peri-Peri at shelf has helped bring the brand to locations where Nando’s does not have a physical restaurant location. One of the other benefits of being in-store, she says, is that it’s not immediately associated with chicken products, but a far greater range of usage occasions.