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A marketing strategy that works: Idahoan Foods reached nearly 5 million new households since start of pandemic

Idahoan Foods saw sales of its fresh-dried mashed potato products rise during the pandemic as consumers cooked more meals at home. Consumers embraced more time at home by experimenting with new recipes, reaching for global flavors as a way to explore other cultures, and showed off their skills on social media. Idahoan tapped into these rapidly evolving consumer trends and pivoted marketing strategies throughout the year in order to connect with new households and keep encouraging consumers to pull Idahoan products from their shelves on a regular basis.

In an interview, published by SmartBrief, Idahoan Foods’ Vice President of Retail Marketing and Business Development Ryan Ellis discusses the company’s newest marketing initiative and how Idahoan stays connected with consumers.

Idahoan Foods has reached nearly 5 million new households since the start of the pandemic. How did you shift marketing during the pandemic to speak to consumers who found themselves cooking at home much more often during the past year?

For years, we’ve been driving industry leading household penetration growth and a loyalty rate of 90% through our targeted marketing campaigns, but we identified a need to evolve our messaging to ensure household retention when consumers’ home cooking behaviors spiked about a year ago. 

Historically, we’ve positioned our Flavored Mashed Potatoes as a high-quality side dish available in 17 exciting flavor varieties that deliver homemade taste in minutes when prepared according to the simple directions on our packaging. To bring this positioning to life, our communications centered around how our products are made with 100% real Idaho potatoes from local growers, which we wash, peel, boil and mash just like you would at home. We’d then explain how we simply fresh-dry them so they’re easy for consumers at home to prepare in just minutes, as well as that they are free from artificial flavors and colors. 

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers were experimenting in the kitchen both out of necessity and as a source of entertainment while spending more time at home. As a result, we provided inspiration for consumers in the kitchen. We pivoted to position Idahoan fresh-dried mashed potatoes as an ingredient that could be used in a wide variety of recipes, including dishes inspired by global flavors. 

We recently noticed a shift in consumer behavior and mindset, with many experiencing cooking fatigue, which helped drive an adjusted recipe strategy that ranges in complexity. This latest evolution to our strategy showcases Idahoan’s ease and deliciousness for those once again gravitating toward convenience-driven solutions, as well as more involved recipes that appeal to our “foodie” consumers.

Source: SmartBrief. Read the full story here
Cover photo: Idahoan Foods

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