Kraft Foods continues to push its plan to increase the number of recipes available to consumers that incorporate Velveeta cheese.
In its latest effort, five popular mom bloggers are writing about recipe ideas, menu planning and other mealtime tips around Velveeta processed loafs.
The bloggers, also known as Kitchenistas, are: Tina from Mommy’s Kitchen, Rachel from A Southern Fairytale, Lori from My Wooden Spoon, Christy from The Southern Plate and Heather from The Domestic Diva. Blogging began Sept. 25 and will continue through Oct. 30 with each blogger posting one day of the week for a total of 25 “Velveeta it!” ideas.
The bloggers are compensated for their time, including developing one Velveeta-based recipe and hosting “office hours” on the Velveeta Facebook page where they will answer questions and interact with fans. The writers are also reimbursed for the food they purchase to make their recipes, Kraft said.
“Consumers may have one or two recipes that incorporate Velveeta, but they are not aware that there are many other things you can do with Velveeta, like make cornbread,” Velveeta brand manager Sherina Smith said.
The public relations firm Edelman helped Kraft select the bloggers using a metric system and other criteria to determine which bloggers would have the best influence for the promotion.
“We make sure the bloggers have a passion for food and a passion for cooking and that Velveeta is part of their consideration set when buying cheeses,” Smith said.
Velveeta processed loafs had sales of $495.2 million in 2008, up from $468.7 million in 2007, excluding Wal-mart. This year, sales were $319 million through Sept. 2, according to Information Resources, Inc., a Chicago-based market research firm.
Also at VelveetaKitchenistas.com, visitors can leave a comment for a chance to win a $75 prize package, including a $25 grocery gift card, cast iron skillet, Velveeta cookbook, loaf saver and product coupon.
The Velveeta Facebook page has more than 1,000 friends, most of them acquired through the mining of the Kraft Food and Family magazine database to determine who buys Velveeta cheese. Those buyers were sent invites to join the Facebook page.
So, how does this all play when the consumer is shopping at retail?
“It’s hard to say,” Smith says. “What we do know is that this consumer is online looking for ideas for meals. We know she blogs a lot and looks to other bloggers for tips and ideas. The more that we can be where she’s looking for ideas, the more we can be top of mind when she’s grocery shopping.”