How Hotpoint turned to Jamie Oliver for food waste mission

The home appliances brand joined forces with the celebrity chef for the finale of its Fresh Thinking for Forgotten Food campaign

This week east London welcomed its latest pop-up café, where diners can enjoy a tasting menu of eclectic dishes, and pay what they think the meal is worth. So far, so Shoreditch. Yet peer closer at those dishes and they share something in common – they were all inspired by the most commonly wasted ingredients in the UK and masterminded by participants in Hotpoint’s Fresh Thinking campaign.

The brand identified that 65% of Brits worry about wasting food and in Europe 88 million tonnes of food go to waste every year. These research findings formed the base of the brand’s ambitious initiative to tackle food waste.

The Fresh Thinking campaign kicked off in July 2018, encouraging consumers to be creative with leftover food and design recipes from the top ten ‘forgotten foods’ – which are most likely to go to waste. And with Jamie Oliver already on board as the brand’s ambassador since 2017, there was an obvious choice for chef for the launch of the pop-up and a key champion in the mission against food waste.

Norbert Schmidt, senior vice-president, market operations and product and brand marketing EMEA at Whirlpool Corporation, explained: "We’ve been working with Jamie and the team plus influencers on the campaign to encourage consumers to enjoy a fresh take on forgotten food. The intention with this campaign is to encourage our consumers to think differently about the food they have at home."

Jamie Oliver added: "When it comes to food waste, we are all on a journey. With this campaign, we are celebrating passing on information. I see companies like Hotpoint very much in the same vein as broadcasters – we have the opportunity to pass on information, knowledge and content to so many."

The campaign included two ad spots in the UK, a raft of in-store activations, plus digital, social media and influencer videos. Agencies included Carat, JWT for creative and Fat Lemon – Jamie Oliver’s production agency. XYZ delivered the live activation, which included a roadshow across the summer encouraging families in to a mobile kitchen for a masterclass, through to the final culmination at the Fresh Thinking Café.

The agency’s founder Will Mould worked with the brand’s experiences team for their first campaign since winning the client in January 2018. According to Mould, the brief was very succinct with a direct outcome: "It was very clear that the experience was around an overall campaign and wanting to drive change, rather than flogging products, which was really refreshing. It was a very collaborative process developing the live activation."

More than 1,000 recipes based on commonly wasted foods were submitted by consumers across Europe to be reviewed by a panel of culinary experts and the very best ended up on the menu to be served at the two-day pop-up.

The tasting menu features dishes incorporating bread, bagged salad and fresh vegetables, some of the nation’s most wasted foods, and will be made using surplus food from local suppliers, wherever possible.

Jennifer Taylor, head of brand for Hotpoint, commented: "Throughout the summer we’ve been on a mission to get the UK to think differently and get creative with the leftovers in their fridge and cupboards. People from all over the country have submitted some brilliant recipes based on the top ten wasted foods and we’re thrilled to be serving a handful of these in our Fresh Thinking Café, offering up food for thought on how we can all think differently about often forgotten ingredients." 

The café, on Bethnal Green Road, was officially opened by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on 10 October, with the creators of the winning recipes in attendance, to enjoy a masterclass from the chef on top tricks and tips to reduce food waste. For the following two days, the café will operate on a ‘pay what you want’ basis with proceeds donated to FoodCycle, the charity committed to fighting food waste and poverty in the UK.

For the company, welcoming in consumers across the country to focus on the issue was at the heart of the campaign, as Whirlpool Corporation’s brand experience, activation and in-store director Jayson Weston explains: "Making it accessible to all was key; every stop on the roadshow had to be free. We wanted consumers to come in and enjoy it with their families and to make it very educational, practical and fun."

Creating a conducive environment to deliver an activation around a core issue was also key: "It was essential to us to deliver that fun environment for people to come in and learn but also have an enjoyable experience. If more companies could focus on social issues, it could drive change much faster." 

XYZ will be assessing the results at the close of the campaign and Mould believes that "the results will be born out in a mindset change. We will look at current perceptions and measure how these shifted at the end of the campaign." 

And with a mobile kitchen already built and Jamie Oliver as brand ambassador for a further two years, opportunities abound to take this campaign further, instil a wider mindset change and encourage more fresh thinking.

Yasmin Arrigo

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