Treasure Cave, Frank’s RedHot Are Summer Partners

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Treasure Cave, Frank’s RedHot Are Summer Partners

By Ed Finkel - 09/05/2017
Campaign pairs complementary products with a plethora of digital and in-store activations

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BRANDS: Treasure Cave and Frank’s RedHot

KEY INSIGHTS: Treasure Cave identified an opportunity to partner with a product that complements and accentuates blue cheese recipes. The popularity of Frank’s RedHot as a condiment and the two brands’ alignment on key selling periods made sense.

ACTIVATION: The path-to-purchase activity included a joint FSI, targeted advertising across the web, promotions through and a series of drops on In stores, the partners leverage SmartSource shelf talkers and promotional packaging.

Lincolnshire, Ill. — Saputo Inc. has often cross-promoted its Treasure Cave brand, known primarily for blue cheese that is sold in both the deli and dairy aisle. But while the dairy aisle is an expected destination for blue cheese, fewer shoppers enter the deli aisle with a purchase in mind.

Saputo wanted to expand the brand’s reach in that part of the store, so it talked with Catalina, St. Petersburg, Fla., to gain information on shopper basket data that might identify potential partners for Treasure Cave, focusing on those that help complement and accentuate recipes with blue cheese, says Brad Panarese, Saputo marketing manager, retail dairy.

The upshot: a summer promotion with RB’s Frank’s RedHot, a sauce that’s often used on buffalo chicken sandwiches along with blue cheese. The activity began in June and continued through August. Editor’s note: In July, McCormick & Co. agreed to acquire RB’s food division, including the Frank’s RedHot brand.

"Frank’s was a very interesting one that came to the top of the list for us,” Panarese says. “Frank’s popularity and being one of the top brands in the condiment aisle really resonated with us. And the time periods they focus on are grilling, during the summer time period – and we sell a lot of blue cheese during the summer – and also holidays and the Super Bowl. There was a lot of alignment that made sense from a buying standpoint.”

Frank’s RedHot saw the promotion as a way to drive awareness of the buffalo chicken sandwich recipes and drew inspiration from past cross-promotions of its own, such as with Hidden Valley dressing, says Mark Saylor, associate brand manager for Frank’s RedHot. “By looking at cross-purchase data, we found that the Treasure Cave and [Frank’s RedHot] shoppers were very similar, and the partnership fell into place,” he says. “We were excited to work with them to reach a new group of fans and create awesome recipes featuring both amazing products.”

The partnership gave both brands a chance to expand their demographic, since Frank’s typically scores highest with Millennials and Treasure Cave with Generation X. “Our core was always ages 35 to 54. They’re avid blue cheese eaters,” Panarese says. “But now we also had access to the Millennial group with different types of recipes.”

Activity along the path to purchase included a 35 million circulation joint FSI that dropped on June 25, targeted advertising via dynamic banner ads across the web, promotions through, a series of drops on, and a Frank’s video promoting the brand’s fictional spokeswoman, “Ethel,” featuring the buffalo chicken sandwich recipe that ran across social channels including YouTube.

“We created a series of joint posts across our social platforms celebrating the joint promotion,” Panarese says. “We also created an influencer campaign to promote the sandwich, where Treasure Cave and Frank’s sent bloggers the product and a recipe, encouraging them to create the recipe themselves and then write and talk about it in terms of their experience.” Nine bloggers with a collective following of more than 1 million did so.

The partners also connected with Progressive Grocer and Supermarket News magazines to push out trade marketing ads, Panarese says. “It was important to not only push out a consumer message, but also to make sure the industry knew about this partnership, given the size of our brands. … It touched, specifically, category buyers and key retailers.”

In stores, the campaign included shelf talkers in both the dairy and deli aisles (distributed to more than 4,000 stores) through News America Marketing’s SmartSource. The signage touted savings when purchasing the two items jointly. Promotional packaging, of which the brands pushed out more than 1 million, contained visuals, coupons and recipes, Panarese says.

Treasure Cave and Frank’s will measure the success by starting with sales lift, along with redemption rates on promotional packages and coupons, engagement with online content through digital ads, and the influx in traffic on the brands’ websites and social media platforms. “My goal is to catch any shopper looking for a deal at any time during the journey,” Panarese says.

Additional solution providers included Hangar 12, Chicago, for brand, promotional and shopper marketing; and Fexy Media, Seattle, for media delivery.