Fromages d’ici – engaging the public in the love for local cheese!

May 28, 2012

It’s a well-known fact that Quebec is unparalleled in its status within Canada as a cheese loving society. They have several decades of headway in producing fine artisan cheese, but they are also light years ahead of the rest of Canada when it comes to marketing and building support for the industry.

Food and cheese in particular has an important place in Quebec culinary traditions, and of course, Quebec society overall has a long-standing practice of supporting local producers, promotion for consumers to buy local products, etc. It’s no wonder at all that Quebec is Canada’s leader in artisan cheese, and at no point can any other region come close without comparable levels of support from government, marketing, cultural habits to buy local as well.

On a recent trip to Montreal (my hometown) I noticed numerous subway ads for the Fromages d’ici marketing campaign, which I found quite engaging. I’ve included several shots from the subway ads to give you an idea. The Twitter campaign that they are running concurrently is also heavily promoted in Berri Metro on the Angrignon direction – one of the busiest spots in the entire system. In this particular campaign, the objective seems to be to build awareness for the over 300 cheeses produced in Quebec, anyone in the public is invited to tweet which Quebec cheeses they are familiar with. What a great way to build awareness, and get people directly involved in the discussion! I was very pleased to submit my tweets to #300fromagesdici and participate.

One thing that is kind of interesting is to note how cheese is marketed very differently in Quebec compared to the rest of English Canada. For example, on the Fromages d’ici website, (English website: http://ourcheeses.com/), they emphasize the passion and romance of food and cheese, and the pride in buying locally produced cheeses is clear. Generally, in English Canada, cheese marketing sites focus on recipes and on the health benefits of including dairy products in your diet, health benefits, etc. Fair enough, but without the passion behind the message and comparable support, how could the rest of Canada ever compete on the same level of building loyalty to support its cheesemakers?

Food for thought…

FYI, the cheeses I tweeted in my wait for the metro were Grey Owl, Le Clos St-Ambroise, and Déguédine! Then my train arrived…

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