Image Centre Group Emerging Business, My Food Bag

The challenge

Come five o’clock after a busy day, the same question is on thousands of Kiwis’ minds: “What on earth are we going to have for dinner?”

Providing simple, healthy, delicious meal options in a convenient and timely manner would resolve this dilemma for a multitude of consumers, particularly if it was delivered to the home. The challenge was to convince consumers that this was a viable alternative to other options. Was it possible to change the habits of a lifetime and revolutionise the way home-makers provide meals?

The response

The response was to launch My Food Bag, a week’s worth of dinners consisting of ingredients and recipes, delivered to the home. The product had to be good value for money and save the buyer the time normally spent supermarket shopping, while still providing a different and delicious dinner every night. The key to a successful marketing launch was to create trust. Qualified dietician and MasterChef winner Nadia Lim came on board as a founder, director and the face of My Food Bag. As one of New Zealand’s most loved and trusted chefs she is famous for her focus on delicious, healthy food. But the product and service had to be excellent as well.

With social media engagement being a primary driver, the initial launch PR campaign was essential to getting the concept off the ground. Celebrities, media folk and the sociarati were sent My Food Bag in the week before launch by Pead PR. These social media influencers took to Twitter to share photos of their meal creations. These were then shared by My Food Bag on Twitter with outstanding success, with #MyFoodBag trending in the first week of launch. The linking and editorial articles provided instant search engine ranking, and www.myfoodbag.co.nz became a go-to website.

Fifteen TVC s focused on a simple product explanation of ‘Nadia coming to dinner’, promoting the idea that the recipes were like having a MasterChef helping you out in the kitchen. Digital campaigns capitalised on the new web traffic and cookies were captured to provide ongoing communication opportunities. Email addresses were captured and the database is now highly engaged, with an eDM open rate above 80 percent.

Social media continues to provide the marketing team with clear insights into what customers want and need. There are now over 25,000 followers. Not bad for a brand after only one year. Social media has engaged customers, adding value cost effectively. Becoming an official supplier of the Chiefs rugby team and using Sam Cane and Liam Messam as brand ambassadors also helped add to the celebrity flavour of the brand.

The results

During TV on-air days there were incredible spikes on the website, increasing hits ten-fold. In just two months the business had already reached its annual forecasts. The launch of My Family Food Bag presented another new market, which after only four months represented one third of the total My Food Bag turnover. My Seasonal Fruit and My Christmas Bag ‘add-ons’ available for delivery alongside core subscriptions resulted in large numbers of customers opting for extras. With no extra delivery cost and minimal investment resources, this added substantially to the bottom line. The most recent marketing campaign has already shown tremendous success and has seen a 15 percent increase in sales, split evenly across Classic, Family and Gourmet Food Bags.

My Food Bag has positively revolutionised the food industry and has exceeded every forecast its board wrote. Within 14 months it has grown a non-existent service and unheard of brand into one of New Zealand’s fastest growing start-ups, with 28 full-time staff and thousands of customers in Auckland, Wellington and the Waikato. And it will be hoping it can replicate that success in Australia when it launches in Sydney soon.

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