CWB to promote Prairie wheat on Dempster’s labels

The latest in the Canadian Wheat Board’s series of branding partnerships will move from the flour sack to the bread bag.

The Winnipeg-based single-desk marketing agency for Prairie wheat and barley announced an agreement Friday with Canada Bread, which will see the board’s “Canadian Wheat Makes It Good” logo on bags of the bakery firm’s Dempster’s WholeGrains bread.

The logo will also appear in national TV commercials, print ads, in-store promotions, product demonstrations and online material, along with a new tagline, “Prized around the world — grown on the Prairies.”

“Dempster’s is Canada’s bakery and the Prairies are Canada’s wheat heartland,” Andrea Graham, senior vice-president for marketing and development at Canada Bread, said Thursday in a CWB release. “We feel strongly about using 100 per cent Canadian wheat to bake our breads. We think consumers and Canadians will too.”

The board in its release cited a 2010 study by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada which it said shows branding and Canadian-origin labeling play a greater role than price in consumer shopping choices.

“This new branding agreement helps farmers connect directly to consumers and reminds shoppers that nutritious, delicious bread is made from Canadian wheat,” David Burrows, the CWB’s vice-president of farmer relations and public affairs, said in the release.

Within Canada, the CWB has previously set up branding agreements with Robin Hood flour, Primo Pasta and Dover Flour.

Internationally, it has a co-branding agreement with Ecuador’s Moderna Alimentos flour company, and China’s Guchuan Foods has partnered with the CWB to mill 100 per cent Canadian wheat flour, sold at retail outlets in Beijing in special packages featuring the CWB brand logo.

“Brand attributes”

The CWB’s stated goal in such campaigns has been to make Western Canada synonymous with wheat, “just as Florida has oranges and California has its raisins.”

In Thursday’s release, however, the CWB also said its ability to mount such campaigns comes as a direct result of the single marketing desk it holds for Prairie wheat.

“When there is only one seller of Canadian wheat, direct sales opportunities for that seller can be created by establishing a brand preference for Canadian wheat,” the board said. “In addition, a single seller can carefully protect brand attributes by ensuring its promises are consistently fulfilled.”

In an open market, however, “a particular company could promote Canadian wheat, but would have limited prospects for increasing its sales as a result,” since other companies would also be selling Canadian wheat, the CWB said. “There would therefore be a much higher risk in committing the required resources to branding.”

“Corporations need to be confident that the resources they commit to brand promotion will directly benefit their own sales prospects — not those of their competitors,” Burrows said, adding that Canada is the only country conducting such branding activity for its wheat.

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