2012 PRO Award Finalist: Ryan Partnership for Unilever Food Solutions

Posted on by Brian Quinton

Unilever Food Solutions knew that deli owners and quick-serve restaurants were hungry for deeper interaction with partners. They wanted to be inspired and were always looking for new sandwich ideas or ways to get more profit and repeat business. Unilever discovered that many operators had been buying from wholesalers who might not carry Unilever brands and products. Also, mayonnaise as a condiment/ingredient was down 1% in the food service category.

Ryan Partnership needed to establish Unilever Food Solutions as sandwich experts, and a go-to source for food service operators and caterers to build their burgers, sandwiches and salad menus. They were charged with re-energizing UFS’ high-quality ingredient brands, increasing sales by getting more of the client’s products into food service locations, and to better connect with food service operators and build stronger loyalty among them.

The agency conceived SandwichPro.com, an online destination and email newsletter designed to help UFS’ food service partners grow and maximize profits, making them and Unilever sandwich experts. The site included a video tour and six landing pages: Recipes (chef demos, burger recipes); News & Trends (how to build your business); Research (what consumers were craving, achieving higher menu prices); Products (Unilever Food Solutions); Offers; and About Us (member benefits).

Members also received a monthly e-newsletter, including news, research tidbits, a special product offer, a recipe and how to enter a contest to be a chef spotlighted on the home page. A new winner was chosen every six weeks; winners received a $500 Visa gift card, an article and the title of “Sandwich Pro” for the month. The email drove users to the site for more. A Unilever Food Solutions brand zipper was positioned at the bottom of each email, while the brand logo redirected a user to that brand page for more information.

The site received high dwell times, which showed that visitors were consuming most of the content. The email newsletter component consistently delivered above-average B2B open rates and delivered nearly 14 times higher than the B2B benchmark for clickthroughs. And as a result of SandwichPro.com, Unilever Food Solutions’ mayonnaise sales increased 4%.

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