Food Lion’s Frugal Cook Off Goes to Charleston

Food Lion Frugal Cookoff Winning TeamThe latest Food Lion Frugal Cook Off, held in Charleston, South Carolina, invited eight local bloggers to cook a meal for 4 with a $15 budget in 45 minutes using items shopped from Food Lion’s Private Brand pantry. The social media promotion made things even more interesting by surprising them “Food Network Chopped-style” with their protein, which was revealed at the start of the event.

The Frugal Cook Off, produced by retail marketing and shopper experience agency Theory House, is a blogger outreach experience offering a refreshing departure from the norm. This and previous events generated original content for the Food Lion website where each of the bloggers’ recipes are posted along with recipes from the Baltimore, Maryland and Roanoke, Virginia events held earlier this year.

Local bloggers included:

Food Lion Frugal Cookoff 2The Charleston event was hosted in the beautiful classroom kitchen of Charleston Cooks! Maverick Kitchen Store in the historic district. With help from the kitchen staff, the bloggers had free reign in the kitchen and access to appliances and utensils galore. Check out some of the behind the scenes shots on Food Lion’s Facebook page.

The panel of judges was composed of local food writers and the President and CEO of the Lowcountry Food Bank. Each got to taste four dishes from Herb Crusted Pork Chops to the winning dish, Spicy Chicken Fiesta.

Food Lion Frugal Cookoff -Spicy Chicken Fiesta_Winning DishFollowing the event, each blogger received robust media assets including video clips and photos generated from the event enabling them to speak dynamically to their blog readership. The retailer also presented two gift certificates to each of the bloggers – one for them and a second for them to share with their readers.

To cap off the day, all leftover pantry items were donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank.

This is a smart event that grows Private Brands, converts casual shoppers into advocates of Food Lion brands and builds relationships with grassroots bloggers to increase Food Lion’s social media presence.Food Lion Frugal Cookoff 1



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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.