'En óf je witlof lust' ('And if you like chicory'). This chicory campaign launched in the Netherlands on Wednesday, September 27, at Oxin Growers. With growers, traders, suppliers, and the press in attendance, almost 18 months of work and research were transformed into a campaign intended to boost chicory consumption in the Netherlands. "We're very proud of the result," co-initiator Martine Lisseveld-Reijngoudt of Reijnpack begins.
Culmination of some 18 months of work
On that morning, several media outlets covered the story. There were some sneak peeks of the campaign on social media, and both media eagerly reported on it. In the afternoon, the campaign was officially launched. It puts chicory in the spotlight, especially with the younger generation, who have been eating less of and less of this vegetable. This campaign resulted from an idea that originated in early 2022 and started being developed into a tangible project in June 2022.
Back then, several growers came to the alarming conclusion that something had to be done. Consumption is declining, and especially among young people this 'white gold' was increasingly unknown. That led to brainstorming to launch a campaign that fully highlighted chicory again.
"That need became abundantly clear when GroentenFruit Huis approached us, saying something serious had to be done to improve chicory consumption. By then, we'd already taken the first steps, but that was all the more confirmation that we were doing the right thing," explains Martine.
Aik Ruiter and Martine Lisseveld-Reijngoudt at the launch.
"We established a working group to find out if we had support before we started developing such an enterprise," Aik Ruiter of C.O.R. chicory farm and Tolpoort Vegetables told guests. "We began talking to growers about what we envisioned and what route we wanted to take. We had to gauge whether we were all on the same page." Martine adds: "The next step was to involve students. They're part of the target group, and it seemed right to involve them. They did market research to identify opportunities."
"We found that people above 55 are familiar with chicory; below that age, it's a different story. Our target market is, thus, primarily people between the ages of 35 and 55. That includes many young families. We saw that children who grow up eating chicory keep doing so. That pleasantly surprised us. We then started looking at marketing agencies that could help with this campaign. After several pitches, we felt that Crispy Concepts was the ideal partner," Martine says.
Three core values
"For us, that was a nice challenge, too, which we immediately felt good about," says Crispy Concepts' Ron Tielen. "We already work with many fruit and vegetable sector companies, but a campaign of this size was something new. The design was ultimately based on the outcome of the students' research. We worked from several core values."
"Healthier than you think, more varied than you think, and easier than you think. It's available everywhere, year-round, is healthy, and you can use it in so many ways in the kitchen. It was vital to tell this story with the campaign. Social media and website images, posters, and truck stickers thus reflect these key messages," Ron explains.
Finally, there was an appeal to the gathered growers. "We have to do this together. This launch is a great start, but everyone who cares about chicory must help to take the next step. Enthusiastically share this campaign with those around you. Actively share its appealing images on social media," Martine asks. A special grower's packet was created, which they can use to draw the public's attention to the campaign. "Then together, we can ensure a very bright future for this beautiful product."
Initiators, Martine Lisseveld-Reijngoudt, Susan van Horssen, Sandra van der Veer, and Aik Ruiter.
The event closed with the 'christening' of one of four trucks that will, for now, sport campaign stickers. These trucks will be adorned with the campaign's eye-catching colors for the next three years. "After that, we'll see how things are going and whether we'll stick to it for another few years. In the end, no one should be able to say they don't like chicory, thanks to 'And if you like chicory' with all its available possibilities," Martine concludes.