Why Loblaw is avoiding the hard sell in its new content series

New videos on the PC Insiders Project are focused on engaging consumers and loyalty members around subjects they care about, like sustainability.

Loblaw is reaching out to PC Optimum members this week with three different content series, two of which are built around food waste.

“Half Full” is a four part long-form docuseries that dives into the issue, be it through profiling companies like Oreka (which feeds discarded food to black soldier fly larvae to make premium-grade animal feed), examining the roles retailers play in reducing food waste or simply giving consumers tip on how to reduce waste in their own homes.

“[The series] aligns with the principles we as a company believe in, and food waste is such an important pillar, and something that Loblaw as a total is trying to reduce,” says Henrietta Poon, creative director at the grocer.

[iframe_vimeo video="613574499"]

The episodes of “Half Full” – ranging from eight to 15 minutes long – are available through the PC Insiders Project, a platform of videos, recipes and podcasts all related to food. The content hub was previously exclusive to PC Insiders members, but opened up to any viewer last spring, shortly after the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also one of three series added to the platform this week. This week’s content launch also includes a kitchen-friendly, chef-led series called “Ripe,” which was created in tandem with “Half Full,” Poon explains. Focusing more on cooking, “Ripe” looks at how to properly prepare products based on where they are in their lifecycles, be they overripe bananas or aged mushrooms that have become somewhat dehydrated.

But it’s not just big issues that Loblaw is tackling. Rounding out the new content is “How To Other Food Stuff,” which takes a comedic bent on the typical food how-to video. Episodes cover things like how to bake a cake for someone you’ve just broken up with, how to stop a significant other from stealing food off your plate or how to make breakfast after a one-night stand – with steps for both someone you want to get rid of, and someone you feel a spark with.

Everything on the Insider’s Project is created internally at Loblaw, under the umbrella of Loblaw Agency, and is mostly promoted to through direct outreach to PC Optimum members through email and the app.

The goal behind the Project is more about providing something useful to consumers and loyalty members, rather than pushing any particular product. As Loblaw began driving to Insiders Project content through the PC Optimum app after it was “ungated” last year, Poon says it found that if it was something people were interested in, be it better-for-the-planet content or entertaining comedy sketches, they would spend more time in terms of engagement.

According to Poon, longer formats allow Loblaw to tell stories in a different, more fleshed out way from channels like Instagram, especially when it comes to families with an interest in sustainability and tips for dinner solutions.

That’s especially relevant when it comes to something like sustainability – Poon tells strategy more customers are becoming more ecologically conscious, and while there is some onus on consumers to reduce their waste, it’s job as a large grocer is to be at the forefront too.