Second Phase of Pulse Promotion Launched in North America
By Pulse Canada
In many markets, awareness and consumption of pulses are part of consumers’ daily lives. That isn’t the case for the vast majority of North American consumers. Although North American pulses are exported to over 150 countries, domestic awareness and consumption of pulses in the USA and Canada is relatively low.
Pulse Canada has joined forces with the American pulse industry to increase pulse consumption and utilization by the food industry in North America.
On June 21st, Pulse Canada, the American Pulse Association (APA) and the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council (USDPLC) jointly launched the Half-Cup Habit, a year-long campaign encouraging American and Canadian consumers to eat a half-cup serving of pulses three times a week.
The Half-Cup Habit is the second phase of a multi-year strategy to increase domestic consumption of pulses in the US and Canada. The first phase of the strategy was launched in January 2016 with the start of the International Year of Pulses.
It lasted until June 2017 and focused on generating widespread awareness of pulses through earned media, social media, online advertising and partnerships with over 300 consumer influencers. These marketing efforts achieved a combined total reach of over 4 billion.
During the first phase of the promotion strategy, consumers were also encouraged to take the Pulse Pledge, a ten-week commitment to eating pulses once per week. Over a million consumers visited the Pulse Pledge website, www.pulsepledge.com, and 59,000 consumers took the Pulse Pledge.
The second phase of pulse promotion in North America will focus on deepening consumers’ commitment to eating pulses. The Half-Cup Habit provides consumers with realistic targets for both quantity and frequency of pulse consumption. The half-cup serving size is recommended based on scientific evidence that half a cup of cooked pulses provides high amounts of key nutrients including fibre, protein, folate, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc. media, digital advertising, North American consumers can sign up for the Half-Cup Habit by visiting www.pulses.org/nap. They will receive weekly resources including simple recipes and cooking tips.
The North American pulse industry aims to have 50,000 consumers sign up for the Half-Cup Habit and generate 2 billion impressions through online and earned media promotion. Early signs suggest these goals are achievable; over 3,000 consumers signed up for the Half-Cup Habit during the first two days of the campaign alone. All Half-Cup Habit marketing materials feature the Pulse Brand, a logo developed by the global pulse industry to build consumer recognition of pulses and help consumers identify products containing pulse ingredients. The Pulse Brand was first unveiled to pulse industry members at the 2015 Global Pulse Convention in Las Vegas. It was used widely during 2016 to promote the International Year of Pulses, and was used on all marketing materials in the first phase of the North American consumer promotion strategy.
In addition to promoting the Pulse Brand through marketing materials, Pulse Canada is also working with the American pulse industry to encourage its widespread adoption by ingredient suppliers, food manufacturers and retailers.
Over 20 companies and organizations are currently members of the Pulse Brand, and the logo is being used on food products by AGT Foods, Princes Food and Drink, Weston Bakeries, Overwaitea and Hershey Co.
Pulse Canada believes that continued industry collaboration is key to achieving a long-term increase in global demand for pulses. Global and regional marketing initiatives such as the Pulse Brand and the Half-Cup Habit will help ensure that pulses have a bright future both in North America and around the world.