Kraft Dinner – A Canadian Treasure…

Written by on March 25, 2012 in Advertising, Canada, Food and Beverages, Investing

Seriously now dear reader, who doesn’t like Kraft Dinner?

From Friday’s National Post, the FP Marketing section delves into the love Canadians have for KD.

It’s understandable that Canadians might display an attachment to homegrown brands like Tim Hortons and Swiss Chalet, but their love of Kraft Dinner can’t be boiled down to corporate genealogy.

The boxed noodles-and-cheese dinner, renamed Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the U.S. not long after its debut in 1937, has always retained the original name in Canada as well as a cult-like following.

While the people at Kraft Canada do not spend a lot of time analyzing why we Canadians eat much more KD per capita than our U.S. counterparts do, they clearly embrace our sentimental attachment to the bright orange food as a decisive marketing opportunity.

When any brand has a different name and brand presence between countries, it ensures that its Canadian marketing and advertising platform is almost certainly a made-in-Canada effort, unlike products with the same name where the ads can be adapted from other markets such as the U.S.

“We do a lot of research, and one thing we know is that the Canadian consumer has a vested interest in this brand,” says Jordan Fietje, senior brand manager for Kraft Dinner at Toronto-based Kraft Canada.

“They have a real sense of ownership over it. They are the ones that called it KD — We didn’t coin that term. We picked it up from consumers.” The advertising tag line for the last 10 years, “Gotta Be KD,” came from a consumer during a cross-country promotional tour with a branded KD car.

While the “10 to one rule” — the principle that the U.S. will sell 10 times the amount of many of the same products sold in Canada, based on relative population size — is generally very applicable in many categories, Mr. Fietje said, “they only sell six times as much Kraft Dinner. That is a significant difference.”

The brand is marketed differently in Canada, he said, because a broader range of people eat it, crossing all ages and demographic groups.

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