Sunday, September 26, 2021

Regional Restaurant Powerhouse Burgerville Focuses on Interactive Participatory Marketing


A company’s brand messaging should be an invitation too brand trail and adoption. There is no better example of the power of brand messaging that regional fresh fast-food powerhouse Burgerville according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Burgerville has consistently edified its relationship with parents for offering vegetable and flower seeds instead of plastic toys in its kids’ meal bags as regular readers of this blog know. They have now unveiled Seedlings, a new 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. What could be more interactive and participatory?

So, 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.

Once again, at the center of all of this is Michelle Battista, Burgerville Senior Vice President of Brand and Marketing and co-founder of Seedlings.   Battista, 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.”

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

1.        ‘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.

2.        ‘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.

3.        ‘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,”.

Technology is relevant for today for Millennials and GenZ digital natives according to Johnson, So, 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.

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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