Creating a Millennial Culture for a Heritage Brand

The Project

Marketing initiative strategy, planning & tactical execution

Client Challenge

Some consider food canning a hobby for grandmothers, or a lost art from a simpler time. But in this day and age of organic, green living, and healthy eating habits, preserving fresh produce increasingly makes sense for budget-savvy, health-conscious consumers.

The marketing team at Ball® Brand Fresh Preserving Products, a segment of Jarden Home Brands, challenged IMS to develop a way to generate awareness and interest in the art of canning among a new generation of consumers.

IMS Approach / Solution

IMS saw the opportunity to leverage the dramatic growth in farmers markets, which have grown steadily in the last 15 years — with 16 percent growth between 2009 and 2010 alone. There are approximately 6,200 farmers markets in the U.S. that welcome an average of 3,000 people a day during peak summer season.  IMS created the concept of a national, grassroots education program to engage both new and existing fresh preserving consumers at farmers markets.

The concept grew into Discover You Can: Learn, Make, Share – a summer canning education program sponsored by Jarden Home Brands. The goal of the program was to generate awareness and interest in canning, and to promote food preservation through local farmers market managers using farm-fresh, local produce. The program showcased Ball® Brand as the leader in helping to build stronger relationships between farmers and neighbors. 

IMS developed the canning education program brand, strategy and tactical implementation plan in 2011.  IMS has managed the entire tactical program since its inception. The Discover You Can: Learn, Make, Share program includes Educational (Influencer) Programming, Promotional Materials, Tradition and Social Media and PR integration.

Educational Program

IMS managed the canning education program offered through the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) by inviting market managers at FMC farmers market organizations to apply for participation consideration.  Each year, farmers markets were selected based on their ability to influence the target audience and their enthusiasm to embrace the program’s education mission. Those select FMC farmers market organizations received funding to support their canning program as well as canning supplies to educate their communities on the benefits of canning, as well as show how easy it is to preserve fresh, local produce. 

The canning education program grew into food preservation education by introducing a second Jarden brand to the program: FoodSaver®, Jarden Consumer Solution’s vacuum sealing food storage system. The expanded program helped communities preserve even more farm-grown produce and offered inspirational ideas on ways to create “from farm, to table” meals all year long - through both canning education and vacuum sealing demos. This new addition was met with enthusiasm from communities across the nation.  

Promotional Materials

Participating managers received canning supplies and how-to guides to share with consumers at the farmers markets.  To encourage use, roughly 935,000 coupons and seasonal recipes were distributed to market visitors, as well as 240,000 samples of Ball® products.  We also provided necessary information to help educate their communities on canning, such as a toolkit, signage, and product samples. 

Traditional and Social Media

The unique Discover You Can: Learn Make, Share program garnered the attention of both local and social media through newspapers, TV, and radio outlets across the country.  Many of these stories have gone viral thanks to YouTube videos and Facebook support.  In addition, more than 30,000 people provided their email addresses to receive more food preservation information.  As a natural outgrowth of this program, these initiatives developed into a way to share positive experiences about Discover You Can: Learn, Make, Share.

National Can-It-Forward Day

By integrating DYC participation and adding celebration to Jarden’s national canning holiday in August, Discover You Can: Learn, Make, Share farmers markets offered canning demos nationwide teaching thousands how to savor the best summer produce through home canning, gaining additional attention from newspaper, radio, online and TV media outlets.

National Can-It-Forward Day is an occasion dedicated to celebrating the season’s best produce through fresh preserving. 


Program Outcomes

More than 185,000 people participated in live food preservation demonstrations hosted by our Discover You Can farmers markets across the country. Nearly 11 million farmers market visitors attended a participating Discover You Can farmers market within the last four summers.  

Farmers reported increased sales as a result of the program, and several reported they sold out of some items when they were feature in a canning demonstration 

Process Outcomes

To encourage use, coupons and seasonal recipes were provided.

We also provided necessary information to help educate their communities on canning, such as a toolkit, signage, and product samples.  

"You can't imagine what it means to a small, grassroots farmers market with big dreams to receive even a small investment in their educational capacity. The fact that Jarden understands farmers markets' unique role as experiential academies (where families learn about farming, food, cooking, and all kinds of life skills) really puts it in a position of great vision and leadership, which is what made us so proud to partner on this program." -Client