Why Kraft Heinz is paying for epipens

The company's peanut butter brand is continuing its support for those with food allergies, and wants to bring more attention to the cost of medication.


Kraft Heinz’s new campaign to help out families dealing food allergies is the latest in a long term commitment to this cause, but represents a more public effort to raise awareness of a gap some Canadians don’t often consider.

Starting on Dec. 10, timed to coincide with “Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month,” the CPG is offering to help cover the costs of epinephrine pens for Canadians with less than 100% coverage. On the “Protection for Peanuts” website, they can submit their receipts and be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses so they will only have paid $5 for the pen – roughly the same as a jar of Kraft Peanut Butter.

“We believe that life-saving allergy medication should not cost more than a jar of peanut butter,” according to Daniel Gotlib, associate director, brand building and innovation at Kraft Heinz Canada. “It’s that simple, although we recognize the issue is much more complex, we wanted to take one small step forward in helping to drive more connection.”

He tells strategy this is the first year it’s activated a brand campaign for Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month. “While it’s a time many of our fans embrace, we recognize that not everyone can enjoy peanut butter,” he says, adding that it wants to to flip the script and use this moment and its platform to “stick together” with Canadians with food allergies by shedding light on allergy medication coverage gaps in Canada. Many Canadians who don’t have to deal with a chronic condition tend not to think about medication costs, especially when comparing them to the stories they hear out of the U.S., but a $120 medication can be a big cost for some families to take on if they don’t have prescription coverage.

As the market leader in the peanut butter category, Gotlib says Kraft Peanut Butter is deeply connected to the food allergy cause. Since 2016, it has been supporting those with food allergies with things like partnering with SickKids on research around food allergies, but saw a unique opportunity to once again spark a more public conversation nationally.

Though reimbursement starts next month, the campaign launched this week to build awareness. On social, there was a paid buy behind the “#ProtectionForPeanuts” hashtag on Twitter, and it is also hooking up with Quebec native and New York Rangers player Alexis Lafrenière to speak first-hand to the challenges of living with a life-threatening peanut allergy and the importance of accessing medication.

The campaign also includes OOH billboards in contextually relevant target locations across Canada, as well as high-impact, full-page print ads in the Globe & Mail.

“We’re taking a 360-degree approach, but leading with digital first where we know our target audience is spending most of their time,” Gotlib says. “Further, given the CTA for the campaign is directing Canadians to our website, the strategy is to meet the consumer where they are and make the consumer journey [to reimbursement] as seamless as possible.”

KPB PFP - NEWSPAPER“With a campaign like Protection for Peanuts, the goal is really to get in front of as many people who may be impacted by life-threatening allergies as possible and we felt a national newspaper, like Globe & Mail would help us achieve that,” he says.

The brand’s AORs managed the campaign. Rethink led creative and production, Carat will drive nationwide awareness through its media buy, internal team The Kitchen is managing social and Middle Child is managing public relations and talent partnerships.