A dual campaign celebrating a favourite fall BC berry helped brighten a tumultuous 2020, thanks to the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission (BCCMC). Tailored to two distinct audiences, the initiatives sparked both provincial and national promotion of the delicious and nutrient-dense berry.

With support from the BC Government’s Buy BC Program, the BCCMC partnered with Black Press Media to launch the “BC Cranberry Culinary Social Media Contest,” inviting British Columbians to enter or vote for their favorite cranberry recipes.

“Social media is a significant tool for Millennials, Gen X and those seeking new recipes, these are key influencers in household consumption,” says BCCMC General Manager, Coreen Rodger Berrisford. “Recipe contests are also a fun way to demonstrate the diversity of uses and benefits of cooking with cranberries year-round rather than just seasonally…it’s really such a versatile ingredient.”

Image of winning recipes

And with a chance at multiple prizes (paired with lots of Covid downtime), there was no shortage of competitors! More than 400 recipes were submitted and are now available at bccranberries.com. Check out the winning entries including a Cranberry Walnut Cheese Ball, Cranberry Stuffed Pork Roast and more!

Beyond promotions and prizes, the BCCMC ensured the campaign also included a strong educational component.

“We made sure people can learn about how cranberries actually grow and their nutritional value,” explains Coreen. “The audience seemed to like the approach as there was an 82 percent increase in Facebook followers and more than a doubling of impressions on Pinterest – the project really generated some good cranberry buzz!”

That impressive nutritional potential was the focus of a second initiative aimed at one of BCCMC’s key target markets. According to Coreen, registered dieticians represent a significant audience given their influence on institutional markets such as hospitals, as well as individual clients seeking meal planning support. While the Dieticians of Canada Conference has traditionally enabled them to connect with about 700 participants annually, Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding allowed a more robust approach in 2020.

Thanks to an ad campaign placed in the Dieticians of Canada’s e-newsletter, the BCCMC was able to promote their message to over 7,000 dieticians and nutritionists a week for 38 weeks, giving them ten times the exposure for less money and significantly increasing website traffic.  

“The two projects together really increased our social media presence and activity in BC and Canada,” reports Coreen. “People who love to cook are super enthusiastic about the new recipes and everyone is looking for ways to enhance their health during Covid.”

Check out BCCMC’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for more recipes and to learn more about about one of BC’s favourite fall berries.

Funding for these projects has been provided by the BC Government’s Buy BC Partnership Program and by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. (BBC201, MD146)