Building higher meaning into a brand’s value proposition

Citizen Relations’ Director Daisy Pack, showcases a strategic shift to purpose led PR, and believes cutting the apron strings in the kitchen is the answer to the work + childcare conundrum this summer.

Daisy Pack, Citizen Relations



No sooner have they tentatively re-opened their doors to small bubbles of children, than with a hop and a skip, schools are out for summer. And it certainly feels like school has been out forever this year. The BBC is under pressure to axe its home learning lessons. Many of the usual summer holiday camps will not be running. With a prayer to the gods of childcare to keep BBC Babysitting, I mean Bitesize, running, working parents could be facing a throwback to the muddling March levels of simultaneous Zooming and family fielding.

So, what’s a working parent to do in the new normal summer holidays? One beneficial trend of lockdown has been quarantine cooking. Families have been getting creative in the kitchen together and crying out for child-friendly recipes the smalls can make too. Thankfully it’s a call that’s been answered by the charity Cook School which understands the pressures parents are under. In partnership with Zanussi, Cook School has launched online resources including recipes designed to be made by primary school children, and crucially with minimal supervision.

Beyond the ‘busy-keeping’ benefits, the Cook School resources inspire children to learn basic kitchen skills. Good news since research shows children who learn to cook from a young age make healthier food choices later in life. This positive step forward to tackle childhood obesity has led to a shift from product focused to purpose-led marketing for our client Zanussi.

Giving children skills to cook healthy, balanced food is a crucial step towards tackling childhood obesity.

Daisy Pack

From product focused to purpose-led

Last year, Zanussi wanted to build a higher meaning into its value proposition to leverage the brand’s scale and have a deeper impact for audiences on top of its product led communications.

Citizen Relations helped evolve Zanussi’s strategy from placing its cookers at the heart of family life, to transforming family cooking for the better.

With 28% of 2-15-year-olds overweight, Citizen’s insights proved obesity is a key concern affecting British families. Yet food education is malnourished, taught differently around the UK, with many schools lacking facilities and expertise.

Zanussi needed a vehicle from which it could credibly talk the importance of food education. So, Citizen identified a charity partner with huge potential.

Established journalist and children’s cookbook author Amanda Grant set up Cook School to offer accessible cookery lessons for children. An initial pilot had reached 3,000, but there was appetite to accomplish more.

An active partnership for Zanussi with Cook School was brokered to grow the charity nationwide, teaching weekly classes in ten schools, educating 10,000 children on the importance of a nutritious diet. But this wasn’t simply a badging exercise. The partnership committed to reach 30,000 children in 2020 and deliver lessons to 100 schools in 2021, empowering children and their families to make healthier, sustainable eating choices.

The need for education

To launch the initiative, Citizen developed newsworthy research spotlighting the need for practical food education; 1,000 children aged 6-11 were interviewed, revealing that, while disconnected from food, when given the chance to get hands on in the kitchen, their passion is potent. Using its news nouse, Citizen crafted arresting angles such as children can identify emoji-friendly ingredients like avocado (76%) and aubergine (66%) yet a tenth think eggs come from cows, a third don’t know tuna comes from fish and 10% have never eaten cherry tomatoes.

Leading with the hard-hitting news from Public Health England that 4.4% of year 6 children need medical help for obesity, Citizen created a heart-warming film of children cooking at Charles Dickens Primary School. The content highlighted the need for food education, showcasing their knowledge gaps and delight at making delicious meals.

The Zanussi partnership helped Cook School scale from part time volunteers to a full-time team, reaching 10,000 children with more content, more worksheets and more ovens for schools. While lending Zanussi a higher purpose, the campaign gave the charity a profile resulting in a waiting list of 50 schools and numerous volunteering offers.

Giving children skills to cook healthy, balanced food is a crucial step towards tackling childhood obesity. Citizen’s match making between Zanussi and Cook School helped spotlight and take action on the issue, transforming the brand’s strategy, building equity for Zanussi as making a difference to British family life.

So, as you’re plugged into Zoom this summer, don’t get drawn into sibling mediation and iPad arguments all the while juggling spreadsheets and PowerPoint. Encourage the kids into the kitchen. Who knows, you may both end up benefitting from the results.

Guest Author

Daisy Pack, Citizen Relations



Daisy has two decades’ consumer and corporate PR experience, spanning food & drink, travel, leisure, FMCG and retail for some of the world’s most famous brands. A specialist in sparking conversations that count, with multi-layered content strategies that excite audiences and transform brand perceptions, Daisy heads up Citizen Relations' food and drink team, delivering winning global and local strategies for AEG, Zanussi, P&G Professional, glh Hotels, Hard Rock Hotel London, S.Pellegrino, The Macallan, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and Dr. Oetker.

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charity Purpose Food Children