Congratulations to our friends at ConAgra Foods for recently being awarded the Gold Ogilvy Award for Excellence in Shopper Marketing.  The winning initiative?  ConAgra Foods’ Shopper Seasons, which gave the brand a new way to successfully market to moms based on six seasons that moms identified as having unique emotional and practical needs for their families.

According to ConAgra Foods, the six seasons women identified in their mental calendar are Post-Holiday, Spring, Summer, Back to School, October Fling and Holiday.  In order to understand why ConAgra brands were important during certain times of the year, the company first had to understand why any brand was important to mom during these new shopper seasons.  “We found that the same six seasons exist for moms across the country, but the emotions, needs and desires may vary,” said Danica Konetski, senior director of Shopper Insights for ConAgra Foods. “For example, Back To School season may be a relief for preschool moms and more stressful for elementary moms – by uncovering the emotional connections, we can find those ways in which brands like Orville Redenbacher’s or Hunt’s Snack Pack are most relevant to each mom.”

ConAgra Foods held one-on-one interviews and focus groups with a range of moms and has used this research and insight to build unique campaigns for its retail partners—grocery stores and other food outlets.  Shopper Marketing programs focused on the “Shopper Seasons” have shown an average return-on-investment that is 30% higher than other ConAgra Foods Shopper Marketing programs.  “We’ve seen results in numbers, but we’ve also seen less quantifiable results from Shopper Seasons, including relationship building with our retail customers,” Konetski said. “Seasons has allowed us a seat at the table for more strategic, collaborative planning and opened up deeper sharing of insights and strategies.”

ConAgra has enjoyed so much success with ‘Seasons of Mom’ that it has just completed a second round of research that takes the seasonal insights and looks to understand how that relates to occasional usages.