Gay Lea tells a bigger story with Bake it Forward

The dairy brand is delivering recipe books alongside its holiday baking kits to get people to start their own traditions.

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Gay Lea Foods is getting into the publishing game with its latest “#BakeItForward” holiday campaign.

The Canadian-owned dairy co-operative with members on approximately 1,400 farms across Ontario and Manitoba, is incorporating a cookbook into its “surprise and delight” giveaway packages that are being delivered across the GTA.

Being given to 1,400 households, the packages contain the cookbook – featuring recipes from Gay Lea employees and co-op members – as well as the supplies needed to get baking, including Gay Lea’s own Bakers Gold butter, a line developed specifically for bakers and has been the focus of previous campaign iterations.

Gay Lea first launched “#BakeItForward” last year, trying to capitalize on renewed interest in baking with a big shift in its typical strategy. According to Robert London, the dairy co-op’s marketing director, the addition of the recipe book and the branded delivery truck furthers the campaigns message of how baking can bring people together. The theme of the book is the stories behind the recipes, giving Gay Lea’s members a chance to share them more broadly and inspire others to create their own.

“It’s a unique spin on a recipe book, and a way we can all share in the holiday season,” London says.

Holiday is a busy baking season and the category experienced a massive spike during lockdowns. While not happening to the same extent, the interest is still there at Gay Lea, London maintains.

Gay Lea Foods Launches Bake it Forward

Last year, London says, because of the closure of many public gatherings, Gay Lea didn’t know where we would be as a society, so the home delivery felt like the best bet for right now as well.

“This is an experiential campaign through and through to connect with consumers, and we are giving back to charity,” London says.

Gay Lea Foods delivered special surprises to youth in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood alongside GTA dairy entrepreneur, Rex’s Premium Ice Cream, newly launched ice cream shop featuring delicious and unique worldly recipes, including flavours inspired by owner Abdul Ali’s Somali heritage.

The entrepreneur’s RexRead’s program donates free, new books to underserved BIPOC youth in GTA communities – and to help support the mission, this holiday season, Gay Lea Foods will be donating dairy supplies to the popular ice cream shop to help it raise additional funds for its charitable program

Gay Lea is getting the word out through social, public relations and influencers will tell their stories after receiving the kits.

The company worked with Chalkboard Marketing, with which it’s been working for about four years, for strategy, creative and execution, and according to London, the ad spend is in line with last year’s effort.