Seeing possibilities in potatoes: how Lamb Weston found success for its British pub chips

Art of the Possible won the B2B Integrated Campaign category at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2021 with its work for Lamb Weston. Using data, digital and social, the team was able to craft an innovative an successful marketing strategy.

The challenge

Lamb Weston are a B2B food brand specializing in frozen potato products. It works in partnership with operators to help make their businesses thrive.

Proprietary research carried out across the UK showed a gap in the dining out market for a really good quality pub chip. Art of the Possible orchestrated in-depth interviews and focus groups, market data analysis, as well as several rounds of product testing in order to identify the strongest opportunity for Lamb Weston’s new product.

The traditional British chip is a key component to 73% of all dining out-of-home occasions! The business saw an opportunity in the market to produce a really good, home-made looking, thick cut chip with a golden color variation that was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

The target audience was the mainstream British pub segment, and the really exciting thing was that this product was to be the very first 100% British chip produced by Lamb Weston. Ever. Wholly manufactured in its plant in Wisbech, this new chip was to be made with 100% British potatoes.

The strategy

Relying on clear consumer and customer insights around the necessity for high quality, locally sourced, traditional pub chips, the team built a strategy that dialed up the provenance and authenticity of the product.

By communicating with foodservice customers as consumers, the team was able to engage with them in a much more evocative and emotional way – telling an appealing story that stood out against competitors. The language used was playful, traditional, fun, with a strong personality which gave a real warmth to the brand and evoked a sense of heritage and British unity – tapping into a feeling of nostalgia and supporting the role of the British pub.

The campaign was designed to not only sell ’Dukes of Chippingdom’, but to position Lamb Weston as a more local and innovative company – to transform it from a dehumanized large-scale brand into a really tangible partner.

The campaign

The campaign was multichannel. The team chose to prioritize live events and social as the two key channels. It wanted to target chefs, who are strong users of social media - especially Instagram. For publican and operator customers, digital is a growing medium, and they are looking to innovative businesses like Lamb Weston to lead the way.

The media mix included: PR targeting trade press; organic social; paid social (Facebook & Instagram); events (including Pub20 and Wholesaler events); the brand website and digital page takeovers of relevant sites eg Bar Magazine and EDM.

Across the brand’s social, the team posted content at peak times - when they knew chefs would be online, such as 10am and 11:30pm. On social, the brand position was also shifted to be a true “partner in potatoes” (one of the new Lamb Weston brand passions) and generated content that it knew would interest our customers – and not just push products.

Through offering free samples via the website, and thanks to strong wholesaler engagement, the team delivered great national distribution within the first four weeks of launching.

The results

The core objective was to sell 200 tonnes of Dukes within the first three months of launch. After two months performance was up 200% on the original, with 400+ tonnes of product sold within two months of launch!

We were targeted with 500 clicks on the website per week (double the global Lamb Weston traffic) and we had achieved over 4,000 clicks on the website within the first 4 weeks, and this number continued to grow throughout the three month campaign – culminating in 1,000 clicks per week.

The social plan hinged on quality leads instead of quantity, with a target of 200 sales leads generated in the three-month period. The team achieved more than double that via Instagram in first three months. It had a KPI of email open rates at a high 10% and its key eDM had an amazing 47.6% open rate, and a click through rate of 29%.

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2021. Find out which competitions in The Drum Awards are currently open and don’t forget to visit our new interactive calendar.