QUESTIONABLE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT food and how food is grown are increasing amongst consumers who do not have a direct connection to farms and farming. Misinformation is prevalent on social media where confirmation bias and the sway of influencers are reducing trust in farmers and agricultural practices.
|WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• What’s your food story? is a call-to-action program asking people to share their food stories.
• Phase one of the What’s your food story? Campaign launched in early May.
• #FoodStoryChallenges on social media have encouraged people to make submissions to the campaign
• By making the video personal, What’s your food story? can stand out amongst other digital content and make an emotional tie to consumers.
Part of Grain Farmers of Ontario’s public trust strategy is to get accurate information in front of consumers in unique ways that make a positive connection between food and farming.
What’s your food story? is a new program under Grain Farmers of Ontario’s public outreach campaign Good in Every Grain. The multi-year, multi-faceted public trust campaign targets suburban and urban Ontario communities around a central theme of food and food stories.
Food stories are moments or memories in our lives that involve food. Think to yourself, was there a moment in your life that was made more memorable or involved food somehow? Maybe it was the first time you travelled out of Canada and experienced a delicious meal from a different culture. Or family holiday dinners enjoying each other’s company with great food. These moments and memories are food stories.
Food can be more than a necessity; it is a part of our everyday lives and part of our milestone moments. It is time to celebrate food again.
By growing positive conversations around food, we aim to increase the level of trust consumers have in Ontario grain farmers. By being present in these conversations and slowly incorporating facts about how farmers grow quality, safe, healthy food we plan to grow the level of trust consumers have in farmers and be seen as a credible source of information.
What’s your food story? is a call-to-action program asking people to share their food stories. This program is centered around a video that explores diverse and every day food stories.
Our video also includes trusted figures living out their food stories — nurses eating on break, a teacher grabbing breakfast while prepping their classroom, a grain farmer eating while in the field, and firefighters trying to eat dinner, but an alarm comes in. Other moments that are showcased are families eating together, celebrating a wedding with food, learning a new recipe online, passing along a family recipe to the next generation, and someone needing to visit a food bank for the first time.
These are all diverse examples of food stories that Ontarians may have. By showcasing trusted figures such as nurses, teachers, and firefighters alongside our grain farmers we want to promote that our farmers should be trusted just as much as other trusted professions.
Furthermore, we wanted to make sure the moments or food stories we showcase would resonate with any Ontarian, and that they could see moments in their own lives on screen. By making this video personal, What’s your food story? can stand out amongst other digital content and make an emotional tie to consumers.
The campaign will be predominantly run online and through social media and create an inclusive way to share food stories while rewarding people who share.
Contest opportunities are available for sharing on social media, uploading a video to our website, and by voting for the video Ontarians feel to be their favourite food story. Video submissions that have already been received include a DIY Rib Fest competition between friends, making homemade pierogies with parents, and celebrating holiday dinners around a large table.
Phase one of the What’s your food story? campaign launched in early May. This phase focuses heavily on a digital and social media strategy and advertising to get the video and the program in front of Ontario consumers.
Based on the success of phase one, What’s your food story? will continue onto phase two where we will celebrate Ontario’s food story utilizing the content submitted during phase one. Phase three will focus on how our food stories are brought to us by Ontario’s grain farmers — and we need to celebrate that key detail again.
What’s your food story? will meet Ontarians wherever they are and whenever they are engaging in food. As Ontario shares their ties to food, What’s your food story? will remind everyone to celebrate the safe, healthy food grown in Ontario and the farmers who are at the root of all our food stories.
Brianne Curtis is the communications specialist, public relations for Grain Farmers of Ontario.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTESTS
- #FoodStoryChallenges on social media have encouraged people to make submissions to the campaign around the themes of mothers, celebrations, fathers, Canada, outdoors, and homemade. Prizes included a $100 Hello Fresh gift card, $100 in baking supplies, a $100 summer grill pack, and a $100 grocery gift card.
- Two monthly contests have also increased awareness of the campaign. In May, a barbeque prize was offered up for National Barbeque month, and in June a $500 Ontario grains prize pack, including Ontario grain-based alcohol, was provided.
“In Newfoundland, eating fresh seafood with my family. It felt like a very traditional Newfoundland meal.”
“Food is a core part of our culture. Being Italian, meals had to be large with a wide variety. We spend a lot of time preparing, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. Our gatherings could be upwards to 25 people around a few tables, but it didn’t matter how tight the seating was as long as the food and company was good.”
“I remember cooking with my mom and sisters for big dinners for thanksgiving and Christmas.”
“Accidentally spending $2,000 on lunch for four in Paris.”
“My favourite memory about food is always with my Dad…every time the Toronto Maple Leafs played we would order pizza and watch the game and have cookies or chocolate for dessert.”
To learn more about What’s your food story?, or to get involved, visit our website, follow us on social media, and don’t forget to share #YourFoodStory.
Webpage: www.whatsyourfoodstory.ca Facebook: @YourFoodStoryOn
Twitter: @YourFoodStoryON Instagram: @whatsyourfoodstory
Tik Tok: @whatsyourfoodstory YouTube: @What’sYourFoodStory