Will Kruger’s eco-conscious paper product help climate change woes?

CMO Susan Irving shares how Bonterra's new marketing campaign puts the onus on consumers as much as the brand.

Bonterra LEAD

You’re reading a story from Strategy C-Suite, a weekly briefing on how Canada’s brand leaders are responding to market challenges and acting on new opportunities. Sign-up here to receive the latest stories.

Sustainability is top-of-mind for companies, as more consumers embrace an environmentally conscious mindset. But to stand out in a crowded market, forward-thinking manufacturing practices must go hand-in-hand with enticing packaging and marketing, as well as solidifying a way to give back to the planet and community.

Combining manufacturing with packaging and marketing is something that Susan Irving, CMO at Kruger Products, took into consideration for the launch of Bonterra, Kruger’s new line of responsibly sourced paper products, including bath tissue, paper towels and facial tissue. The products are made from 100% recycled paper with Forest Stewardship Council of Custody certification and carbon neutral manufacturing. Bonterra’s soft launch kicked off in Feb/Mar 2022.

According to Irving, who’s a veteran in the CPG sector with over two decades of marketing experience at the likes of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, while eco-conscious consumers are looking for products that have less of an impact on the planet, they also want them to meet high quality standards.

“These products do good for the environment, but they also deliver on benefits,” says Irving. “When we developed Bonterra, we wanted to take a more thoughtful approach, so from production, to manufacturing, the product benefits, packaging, partnerships and the look and feel, we delivered on a true package of sustainability and a holistic bundle when it came to those attributes.”

For one, Bonterra’s attractive packaging makes it easy to spot on store shelves. The products are wrapped in bright colors that feature a calming, wave-like pattern; but it’s not just the design that makes its mark – all packaging is plastic-free, and uses recyclable paper wrapping and cores, and recycled and recyclable cartons and sleeves. The brand has also partnered with two environmentally conscious organizations, 4ocean and One Tree Planted, in a sponsorship deal that has funded the removal of 10,000 lbs of plastic from the ocean and a projection to plant 30,000 trees.

Kruger Products, a Canadian manufacturer of household tissue products including Cashmere, SpongeTowels and Scotties, is already at the forefront of sustainability as it spearheads its Reimagine 2030 initiative, which has seen the company set (and already reach) aggressive targets, such as reducing virgin plastic packaging in its products by 50%. Now, the launch of Bonterra – an endeavour three years in the making – reinforces Kruger Products’ promises.

“Kruger is a leader in sustainability in Canada, and the fact that Bonterra is in complete non-plastic packaging truly embodies our values and reflects our ongoing commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment,” says Irving.

Bonterra is a big bet for Kruger and, as such, is supported by a robust multi-million dollar marketing campaign that supports the brand through mass media, shopper marketing, PR, digital, television and influencers. The brand worked with Broken Heart Love Affair, Wavemaker, North Strategic, Davis, Wunderman Thompson and Ethnicity Matters to pull together the integrated campaign, which launched on June 6 and will run for the remainder of the year.

The marketing features a jaunty, feel-good spot, titled “We’re Good Together,” centered around the idea that, as a community, everyone can pitch in to do their part to combat climate change. (The song for the spot is also very catchy – as confirmed by Irving who can’t get it out of her head.) The campaign emphasizes how important simple, collective actions can be. “There’s something really positive about how we can all do a little bit every day. All our acts make a difference if we do them together,” says Irving. “We know from our research that our target audience cares about minimizing their impact – the campaign is really that rallying cry.”

“This is just the start of the campaign and there’s more coming down the pipe in terms of influencers, PR tours, some stunts that are planned for the summer, as well as programs with One Tree Planted and 4ocean,” says Irving. “When it comes to sustainability, we’ve made a commitment to 2030, and we’ll renew that coming out of 2030, but there is more to come.”