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Influenced, Earned and Tasty

Project Overview

As a leading manufacturer in the snack food industry, TH Foods strives to bring innovative, authentic crackers and snacks to North America, including through its Crunchmaster® brand of crackers and snacks. Made from simple, wholesome ingredients, the Crunchmaster line of gluten free, non-GMO snacks was growing for the first time in nearly two years with the introduction of Bistro Crisps – a grain-free, paleo, vegan snack option that boasts only 120 calories for 63 crisps. TH Foods and the Crunchmaster team engaged Mueller Communications for a national product launch, introducing consumers and industry to the new product innovation through earned media and influencer outreach.

The Challenge

While the Crunchmaster brand has a loyal following and widespread distribution, Bistro Crisps did not have national distribution at the time of the launch announcement and was available only at select regional retailers. In some respects, our challenge was to create awareness and anticipation for the product, stopping short of demand in regions where the product was not yet available.

The Solution

The Bistro Crisps product launch took a two-prong approach, balancing a widespread national consumer and industry earned media strategy with a targeted, regional influencer approach to generate awareness among multiple audiences, including grocery store buyers and decision makers, professionals in the health food industry, health-conscious consumers, influencers and media. 

Mueller increased awareness of and interest in Bistro Crisps by leveraging key insights and trends related to better-for-you snacking, clean eating and clean labels and transparency in food production. Messaging focused on the “trifecta of claims,” including the grain-free, paleo and vegan attributes of Bistro Crisps, with communications targeting key audiences.

The earned media approach included distributing a product launch press release via PRNewswire for mass awareness and national reach, and targeting 450+ trade and consumer media contacts with the announcement and customized media pitches. Mueller also deployed a product sampling program for industry and consumer lifestyle reporters to taste the product before writing about it.

Leveraging a substantial audience of health-conscious consumers, dietitians and foodie content creators, Mueller developed a regional influencer program, with outreach to nutrition, healthy living, celiac, paleo and vegan influencers in the Southeast and east coast – the primary regions where Bistro Crisps were available. 

Key components of the influencer campaign included:

  • Establishing criteria for influencers, including engagement rate and authentic follower count
    Identifying influencers who lived in or had a majority of their audience in target markets where product was available in store, ensuring they could purchase the product;
  • Developing a collaboration brief outlining the content direction, key product attributes and messaging, required tags and hashtags, and visual inspiration for content creators;
  • Implementing two influencer campaigns to collect high-resolution, user-generated images from influencers on two content themes – family friendly snacking (keto, gluten free, vegan), and healthy holiday snacking. Influencer images were provided to Crunchmaster with rights granted for use in future marketing materials.

The Results

Mueller Communications’ earned media outreach resulted in:
  • Nearly 150 print, online and social media placements, including placements with 13 targeted trade publications
  • Approximately 132M potential audience members reached
Influencer partnerships resulted in 12 influencer partners sharing 16 social media posts on Facebook and Instagram, resulting in:
  • 285,000+ potential audience reached through influencer content
  • 4,900+ likes
  • 400+ comments
  • A content library of 50+ high-quality influencer-generated photos for marketing purposes