Regional family dining chainBob Evans, Columbus, Ohio, is introducing a new marketing campaign, "Discover Farm Fresh Goodness," and trying to appeal more to moms -- rather than grandmothers.
To learn more about the effort,Brandweekmagazine interviewed Mary Cusick, senior vice president of marketing.
Following are food- and menu-related excerpts from that interview.
Brandweek: Aside from the new wraps and smoothies Bob Evans is introducing this week, what are other new innovations?
Mary Cusick: We have a recent new menu innovation. Our “Fit From the Farm” menu [launched in January], follows the United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for healthy lifestyles. We offer breakfast, lunch and dinner options that are 650 calories or less, and even if you ate all three meals at [our restaurants], they would still deliver on the appropriate sodium and fat levels.
BW: What eating trends are driving the industry right now?
MC: There is a lot of consumer interest in food that is most healthful. Our Fit From the Farm menu is a first initiative in this space. We’re also looking at enhancing our current products and working toward a menu that is completely trans fat-free and that really fits into anyone’s diet.
BW: Which mealtime segment is the most popular?
MC: Restaurants in our category traditionally place a high emphasis on breakfast, but it’s fairly divided among all three dayparts. There is a lot of pressure on the breakfast daypart, especially with [the increasing entry] of quick-service restaurants. Subway most recently launched a breakfast [menu], and the McDonald’s of the world have been in breakfast for some time. Then, people are also eating breakfast at home. [To respond to that], we launched our “Taste of the Farm” initiative this January, which portrays the brand in more contemporary terms. [As part of that effort], we now offer family meals and snacks in a broad array of catering, carry out and bakery items.