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For Quebec-based Cook it, enjoying easy, high-quality meals at home should be fun and accessible. Founded in 2014 by Montrealer Judith Fetzer and partners, Cook it led the wave of meal kits in Canada and is now one of the largest providers of ready-to-cook meals in the country. The company’s mission is to bring the enjoyment of cooking back into Canadian homes by helping save time in the evening while eliminating the stress of meal planning.
After transitioning to a subscription model in 2016, Fetzer continued to find success in the meal kit market when she signed a deal with key investors on Dragon’s Den in 2017. The company then acquired competitor Kuisto followed by Miss Fresh in 2019. In 2020, Cook it experienced exponential growth with the pandemic and has shown no signs of slowing down since. Between shutdowns and the rise of online grocery shopping, they hired over 600 workers to keep up with the increased demand. Today, Cook it has over 700 employees and counting. On December 2nd, 2021, they announced their acquisition of assets of ready-to-eat meal company Locaal.
With continuous efforts to be greener, Cook it is committed to the environment through initiatives like reducing food waste, ethical sourcing, and encouraging a vegetarian lifestyle. They’re also invested in supporting Quebec’s economic growth by working with local chefs, producers, and organizations.
Cook it understands the importance of a strong marketing mix thanks to its growing share of the meal kit market. We recently sat down with Alexandre Cholette, Media Placement Manager at Cook it, to discuss everything from partnering with a popular Quebec TV show to running creative OOH campaigns with Campsite.
The meal-kit market
With the rise of online retailing, consumers have been changing the way they purchase, prepare, and eat their meals over the past few years. Meal kit demographics have expanded beyond young professionals and foodies to now include busy families, and Cook it has met this demand by appealing to Canadian families with quick, practical and ready-to-eat recipes. With their personalized approach to meal planning, customers can modify kits based on their preferences, allowing the company to gather the information that can then be used for marketing purposes.
Cook it’s marketing team emphasizes a targeted and profitable approach. They want their meal kits to be as affordable as possible for the customer, so they try to be as strategic and efficient as they can with how they spend their budget. With so much competition between meal kit services, many of which rely on marketing with coupons and discount tactics, Cook it focuses on reaching specific audiences and providing value to avid meal kit consumers as opposed to targeting deal shoppers.
Driving the omnichannel campaign effectiveness with fine-tuned Digital OOH
To help create excitement and drive awareness for its meal kits, Cook it partnered with the popular Quebec reality show Occupation Double to sponsor the contestants’ weekly meals showcased throughout the series. Thanks to the partnership, customers could select the same recipes as their favourite TV candidates and cook the meals at home. With corresponding OOH campaigns that ran across the province, the company promoted their recipes using creatives that were based on what was happening on the show.
Cook it’s goal with this campaign was to reach its target audience through contextual advertising that created a connection with every episode. Creatives were modified each week to tailor the messaging around the show, helping Cook it drive brand awareness and recognition while providing a preview of each week’s recipes to audiences.
As part of an omnichannel mix that also included TV, radio, and digital campaigns, Cook it’s digital OOH campaign reached around 3,000,000 people in a creative and impactful way. The campaign ran on approximately 300 outdoor digital screens that included urban panels, bus shelters, and billboards in 24 specifically-selected geographic areas throughout the province. With tens of thousands of ads served throughout the duration of the campaign, Cook it was able to reach a wide variety of demographics that resulted in millions of impressions.
They even turned to OOH to promote Cook it’s Chef’s class, an exclusive service that allows subscribers to prepare chef-curated gourmet meals at home while following along with online classes.
The Campsite difference
With Campsite, Cook it was able to quickly switch or adapt creatives based on factors like recipe changes or the latest reality show content, to create contextually relevant messaging that drove stronger ad and brand recalls. According to Alexandre, Campsite’s ease of use and functionality made the platform especially beneficial and efficient for the marketing team.
From creatives and screens selection to specific dayparting, the Cook it team was able to easily schedule each week’s campaign flights in minutes. The Campsite team supported a flawless execution that helped Alexandre and team optimize their campaign results.
“What used to take hours to plan and execute was reduced to minutes with Campsite. The ease of use, which mimics online ad buying platforms, and its powerful DOOH targeting and scheduling features were a game-changer for us.”Alexandre Cholette, Media Placement Manager at Cook it