Scottish strawberries – always a top seller – were in Waitrose stores nearly three months earlier than usual in 2016, thanks to a new biomass heating system the growers had installed. Our brief was to beat all the other supermarkets to the ‘first-Scottish-strawberries-in-store’ story and use it to help support the Waitrose brand in Scotland.
We worked with Berry Farms, Waitrose’s producer partner, to find a farm that was using locally produced biomass from their own woodland. Playing up the environmental angle, we also explained how the new technology would allow Scottish growers to compete with other European growers. We gathered statistics, identified a strong photo opportunity and placed the story in the Scotsman, Daily Mail and The Times (Scottish edition).
The resulting coverage helped to boost strawberry sales in store that weekend and gave Waitrose a national profile in Scotland on a farming and environment related story; both important priorities for Scottish government. Sales in the opening two weeks of the season represented £60 of strawberry sales for every £1 spent on PR.