Better-For-You Snacks Campaigns - Annies, Horizon AND Bitsy's Brainfood
Annie's Homegrown, Horizon, and Bitsy's Brainfood utilize very different marketing campaigns. Annie's is the most aggressive, with a very strong and focused website and social marketing campaign that stresses company responsibility for the planet, as well as products made sustainably with organic ingredients. Horizon is more traditional, featuring an active social media presence focusing on its organic farms and providing a great deal of recipes using their products. Bitsy's takes the most relaxed approach by infrequently posting on social media and owning a playful, scaled-back website. They stress "Making healthy fun" in their limited marketing materials. Below you will find a breakdown of each brand's marketing strategy over the last 24 months, as well as some comparison/contrast between the 3 brands. Please see the attached spreadsheet for a back-to-back look at the brands' marketing strategies and some links to relevant online marketing materials.
Annie's presents strong, consistent messages across marketing materials. Listed are the various types of messaging and marketing strategies they use.
They promote that they are organic (for the organic products only), sustainably sourced, climate friendly, and made from real quality ingredients. On Annie's "Farm to Yum" website page, they state, "From trusted farmer partners and the foods they grow, to the packaging our food is shipped in, we’re on a mission to maximize the good in the world. We look for ways to regenerate living systems and to protect the food, air, water and habitat needed for all living things (including us!) to thrive." In a campaign for their Honey Bunny Grahams, Annie's states, "What if we told you that the wheat and oats in these Organic Bunny Grahams came from a single farm? That’s right! Farmer Casey Bailey grew these crops as part of a diverse crop rotation on his land in Fort Benton, Montana. Rotating different crops is important for building healthy soil.” This messaging has consumers feeling closer than ever to their food and like they are positively supporting environmental initiatives.
Annie's utilizes a message of "transparency" to draw in clients who want to know exactly what is in their food. They state, "We focus on 10 ingredients that account for roughly 80% of our total ingredient purchase by weight. We set goals for each of these ingredients to grow organic farming, increase transparency, and provide further proof points through other rigorous, third-party certifications on the farm." This messaging caters to health-advocates and safety-nuts, providing consumers with more insight into where and how their food is produced, especially at a time where most people are so far removed from their food's sourcing and production.
Annie's provides suggestions for lunchbox fillers, after school snacks, and holiday-themed giveaways. They call their cheese puffs "a seriously snackable duo, packed with crunch, cuteness, and real cheese," catering to a fun, child-like audience. They present a "Lunch Box Yum" webpage that shows fun, healthy ways to pair Annie's snacks with fruits, veggies, and other healthy ingredients. They even posted a Facebook post showing Annie's snacks next to a veggie platter, stating, "Fear not, friends… for we’ve found the solution for that after-school snack attack." This messaging attracts children who will ask their parents to buy them the delicious, fun-looking snacks, while parents are also drawn in due to the focus on making healthy food appealing to picky eaters.
Types of Platforms Used:
Annie's uses their colorful, user-friendly website to inform consumers about their practices and promote their social, environmental, and health agendas. They also utilize Facebook frequently to post colorful pictures with kid-friendly snack and lunch ideas, as well as post contests and sweepstakes to draw in attention.
Please check out Annie's website links for snack mixes, crackers, and snack bars for reference of the crunchy snacks Annie's offers.
Horizon tends to utilize a more traditional approach to marketing, focusing on the organic farms from which their products are sourced, as well as recipe ideas. Listed are the various types of messaging and marketing strategies they use.
At the heart of Horizon marketing is the absolute focus on organically produced products. They state on their website's homepage, "From whole, organic milk to a wide variety of crunchy snacks made with organic goodness, we take pride in keeping weird stuff out of our food. That means no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and no GMOs." This messaging points to the strong ethics and reliability of the company, which will attract people who want to take charge of what types of ingredients enter their bodies. We can assume that parents would also be attracted out of care for their children's health.
Horizon uses its website to promote hundreds of recipes to their consumers. While most recipes are milk or cheese based, there are some recipes which include Horizon's crunchy snacks, like the
Creamy Tomato Soup topped with cheese crackers. The recipes page allows consumers to categorize recipes based on what ingredients they have available, as well as across style, such as meals that are lunchbox friendly, which gives parents a reason to revisit the Horizon website over and over.
Family Farm Messaging:
Horizon emphasizes the importance of family (attracting families, of course) and the importance of sourcing ingredients from family farms. Horizon positions itself as a true from the farm company.
They state on their website, “More than twenty years ago, Horizon® began with a handful of organic family farms. While we've grown to nearly 700 farms since then, our commitment to organic farming remains stronger than ever.” They feature specific farms and show farm families and profile them making it more personal.
Types of Platforms Used:
Horizon mainly utilizes their website for advertisement with colorful photos and moving graphics, but they also promote products via Facebook posts. Their posts about crunchy snacks tend to be very playful in tone. For example, in a post about their crackers, they state, "Cheddar Snack Crackers or Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers…stuck in the middle? Wednesdays are like that. 😋 Hint: there’s no wrong answer!" Another playful post featuring their snack crackers states, "Snacking while you sketch can help you be more creative. Well, at least we think so."
Please check out Horizon's website for reference of the crunchy snacks Horizon offers.
Bitsy's is less social media active than the other two brands and focuses their marketing materials inside of their own, playful website. Listed are the various types of messaging and marketing strategies they use.
Fun and Kid-Friendly Messaging:
Their website currently features this campaign: "Eat. Play. Learn.
Making healthy fun! Great food that starts with a simple belief - healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected and learning to eat smart should be fun!" All over their website, you see photos of kids playing and smiling, with colorful, bouncy font to match. It is very clear that these snacks are targeted for kids.
Family Focused Messaging :
Though very little messaging is actually provided on their website once away from the homepage, Bitsy's does provide a short recipes page and a very short "Farm to Playground" page that promotes their program "that donates a portion of the proceeds of [their] Smart Crackers to organizations that help keep kids happy and active." These pages cater to families in an ethics way, as well as a useful way.
Types of Platforms Used:
Bitsy's has very little reach beyond their own website. They do have a Facebook page, but it is infrequently updated. Bitsy's did have two posts in the past month, however. Most posts are product giveaways, new product releases, and sale information. For example, on their Facebook page, Bitsy's writes, "This just in...our Smart Crackers are on sale for $3.99 at Whole Foods Market right now! The snack packs make great nut-free Valentine's Day snacks for school!" Bitsy's also has a Twitter, but it has not been updated since 2017, lending to their very relaxed marketing strategies.
Please check out Bitsy's website Products page for reference of the crunchy snacks Bitsy's offers.
Though they provide similar products, Annie's Homegrown, Horizon, and Bitsy's Brainfood employ very different marketing tactics. They all have colorful, user-friendly websites, but focus on different aspects of their products. Annie's promotes their social/environmental responsibility, transparency, and kid-friendly products. Horizon promotes their organic practices, recipes, and commitment to family farms. Bitsy's promotes their kid-friendly products and their dedication to family health and happiness. Please see the attached spreadsheet for a side-by-side analysis of the 3 brands, as well as links to examples of their marketing strategies.