Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry sales surged nearly 20% in the first three quarters of the fiscal year, driven by recipe videos.
The product’s growth had remained flat for “decades,” Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Foley told Ad Age.
Food-related content is proving to be a hit with millennial audiences: BuzzFeed’s digital channel Tasty has been the most-watched video creator for four months in a row, beating out pop sensation Justin Bieber. Noting that trend, Food brands are incorporating recipe videos into their digital strategies. One in four brands publishes videos on recipe pages, more than double the 2014 percentage, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food.
Pepperidge Farm shares its puff pastry videos not only on its site, but also on Facebook and Pinterest. Every dollar of the brand’s marketing budget goes to those platforms, Foley said – a savvy strategy given that Facebook’s pay-to-play model prioritizes brands that back content with significant spend.
However, with puff pastry accounting for only a small percentage of Pepperidge Farm sales, that strategy appears to be the exception to the rule. As a whole, the company has not been innovative in digital – contributing to its Average rank in L2’s Index. While Foley hoped the digital-only model could impact marketing for other brands such as Goldfish, a business 20 times larger than puff pastry, it could take a long time for those innovations to be generally adopted.