Data can be a lot of things. It can be big, it can be consistent and most of all, it can tell consumer stories. When Nikki Lamb Tudico— president of the Lamb Creative Group—began working with Yves Veggie Cuisine on their first national PR campaign, she knew that understanding its data story would be key to her success.

By analyzing consumer demographics, buying habits and historical media reach, Tudico took a brand that typically received 500,000 media impressions per year to over seven million impressions in four months. Tudico’s team won the Canadian Public Relations Society’s Gold Award for a PR campaign under $50,000 as a result.

Review past success and target markets.

Yves produces vegetarian foods including meat substitutes like veggie burgers and meatless deli items and the target consumer is a female vegan or vegetarian, aged 25 to 49, living in a large urban centre.

Vegetarian cuisine is a crowded product category so prior to starting a new campaign, Tudico reviewed the company’s past efforts as well as their results. The company had only been written about only in smaller regional papers, rather than a national audience, and had limited placement in health and wellness magazines. Nonetheless, the press brought about a  2 per cent growth the previous year—though Tudico saw substantial room for growth.

In Tudico’s experience, you often have to ask brands for their sales data. She used Yves’ data to tailor her messaging.

“Only 55 per cent of their consumers were vegan or vegetarian and they only represent about one third of the Canadian shopping public,” said Tudico who decided she’d target the other two thirds of the population, or flexitarians, people who aren’t classified as vegetarians or vegans who occasionally eat products like Yves. She needed the brand to be published in top-tier national dailies.


Use demographics to guide campaign tactics.

“One of the challenges was Yves had no clear spokesperson, so we looked for someone who would help reach the target demographic,” said Tudico, who found vegan chef Lauren Marshall.

Marshall had just come off competing on The Food Network’s Top Chef Canada and is the executive chef at popular vegan restaurant enVie in Halifax.She fit the key demographics and could authentically speak about vegan cooking.

Tudico put the chef in front of the brand, having her create new recipes with Yves’ products and positioned her as a spokesperson. She then ran an direct mail marketing campaign sending out 50 branded freezer bags full of Yves’ products with a recipe created by chef Marshall to food influencers.

“It had an 80 per cent pick up rate and was the biggest thing Yves had ever seen in terms of awareness,” said Tudico with a piece ran in The Globe and Mail, a series of recipes in the Huffington Post and articles featuring chef Marshall on urban blog sites like

In the end, Yves saw 11 per cent growth in a single quarter. Beyond any award, that’s the metric that had the greatest impact to her client.

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

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