Hellmann’s goes digital in its food waste fight

The brand has developed an app that will reward Canadians for using up the ingredients they have on hand.

Fridge Night by Hellmanns

Hellmann’s Canada has gone digital in its latest effort to curb food waste.

The brand has launched its “Fridge Night” app, which is designed to encourage Canadians to use up the food in their refrigerator before it spoils and ends up in the landfill. It does this through content and “flexible recipes” that are designed to have whatever happens to be in a fridge substituted in or out. It also has tracking features, offering rewards to users who manage to commit to their one “fridge night” a week and reduce their waste, including coupons for Unilever products and donations to Second Harvest.

The app’s design is based on findings from a behavioural change study of 1,000 Canadian families, conducted by behavioural scientists on Hellman’s Canada’s behalf.

“We found that if families dedicated just one use-up day per week, they could reduce their food waste by a third on average,” says Kristen Denega, senior brand manager for Hellmann’s at Unilever Canada. “Fridge Night is the digital evolution of this study, offering an easy, simple and free solution to help Canadians reduce food waste.”

The app was developed “in very close partnership with our global counterparts,” says Denega, because while it has launched here – in no small part because “Canada is one of the worst offenders when it comes to food waste” – the company is planning to launch it in other markets, including the U.S. and U.K., where food waste is also rampant.

Shakshuka Flexipe

The app is backed by a big push on the brand’s owned channels, but also features paid and earned media to drive recruitment and awareness, including an influencer push featuring their own “fridge night” experiences. Agencies supporting the app include Edelman on PR and influencers, Mindshare on paid media, Ogilvy on creative, Anrom Social on the UX, design and build, and Verint for platform technology.

Fridge Night is an extension of past efforts by Hellmann’s Canada, which has made food waste reduction a central part of its brand. Those efforts have included its Real Food Grants and Real Food Rescue programs, Animal Crossing-based Hellman’s Island initiative and a stunt showcasing the country’s most popular food trucks: waste collection vehicles.

But it is also “something that we see playing a significant role within Hellmann’s purpose and brand strategy for years to come,” says Denega.

“We hope that through Fridge Night, we can help inspire consumers to see the potential of the food they already have to hand and ultimately create a long-lasting shift in mindset from ‘what do I need’ to ‘what do I have and what can I make with that,’” she adds.