Thursday, February 18, 2021

Burgerville thinks Food, Family, Fun, and Fresh Matter


Local restaurants stock and trade is in cultivating ‘local’ in menu flavors, entrees, seasonal sides, and deserts.  In Florida, strawberries are picked Mid-February in Oregon they are picked Mid-June.

Understanding sustainable, local customer relevant touchpoints is an area in which Burgerville excels. In its latest seasonal promotion Burgerville introduces Seedlings; a program that replaces plastic toys in a kid’s meal, with local seeds that can be planted at home, edifying the Burgerville brand with another generation.

Simultaneously Burgerville is capitalizing on increase in multi-generational households binding a relationship within the family.  In fact today One in five Americans currently lives in a multigenerational household. In short this new Promo / program teaches kids, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles all about ‘local’ Northwest bred seeds and gardening.  Now that is a great example of interactive participatory food marketing according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Burgerville’s Seedlings, is a program in partnership with the Culinary Breeding Network, to make Northwest-grown and bred seeds available to customers, teach kids and adults about growing plants, and inspire gardeners to grow locally grown and bred seeds at home while driving new electricity into the Burgerville brand.

The Seedlings program includes newly designed envelopes for the seeds, new bags for the kids’ meals, the introduction of the Seed Wizard to excite kids about seeds and gardening, and stories from the Northwest farmers who grow the seeds expanding the halo of ‘better-for-you’ around local, Burgerville, and family.

Burgerville began putting seeds instead of toys in kids’ meals in 2001-2002. They get a lot of grandparents who bring their grandchildren to Burgerville, sometimes with a hit of nostalgia because we’ve been in the Pacific Northwest since 1961.  So, some of the grandparents have been coming for decades.

 Michelle Battista, Burgerville Senior Vice President of Brand and Marketing and co-founder of Seedlings, stated, “Burgerville has always been proud of offering seeds in our kids’ meals. We love sharing with children and their families the joys of gardening and showing how to care for the land. The Seedlings program is going to take us to the next step because it’s supporting Northwest seed growers and breeders, who are really the unsung heroes of local agriculture.”

Battista continued, “Our seed program was, is, and will always be 100 percent about families.  We wanted to spark kid’s imaginations and invite conversations and activities that kids and adults can do together! Indeed, it does build brand value over multiple generations.

Seedlings seed varieties will rotate seasonally. The current lineup includes:

- ‘Outredgeous’ Lettuce - Bred by Frank Morton at Wild Garden Seed in Philomath, Oregon, this lettuce was actually grown in outer space and was planted in the White House Garden by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

- ‘Cascadia’ Snap Pea – Calvin Lamborn, the father of snap peas, created an entirely new category of vegetable through decades of breeding, trials and selections. The ‘Cascadia’ Snap Pea is a variety bred at Oregon State University (OSU) by Jim Baggett.

- ‘Purple Karma’ Barley – This barley is an heirloom variety that is hulless, so it can be easily cooked and eaten like rice, but also beautiful as an ornamental decoration in any garden. The variety was brought to the U.S. in 1924 from Tibet but spent decades tucked away in the USDA seed repository until OSU researcher Brigid Meints began breeding new organic barley with it.

“Lane Selman, director of the Culinary Breeding Network and assistant professor at OSU, stated, The Pacific Northwest is one of the best areas in the world to grow seed. There is an unknown community of individuals here growing seeds and breeding new varieties of the food we eat. It is the mission of the Culinary Breeding Network to raise awareness of the importance of seed and the impact it has on our food system. Burgerville will be an excellent partner in educating kids and adults on the power of the tiny seed and sharing stories of our regional seed heroes,”.

This year Burgerville has also unveiled a new app, available from the App Store and Google Play, as well as a brand-new loyalty program called LocalVille, which rewards customers for purchases. First time users who download the app will be rewarded with a free cheeseburger. How are you edifying your brand with customers? Are you growing a long-term sustainable brand message and new electricity?

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as; corporate partnerships, fresh foods, smell, online ordering, delivery, self-driving cars, plant-based foods, seeds, music, streaming, food sampling, toy’s, podcast, movies, cereal, developing brands, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different and this fits that bill according to Johnson.

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

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