Riney Moves Meatless Burgers to Mainstream

By Trevor Jensen

CHICAGO–Wholesome & Hearty Foods touts taste as the quality that sets its Gardenburger apart from other meat-alternative patties in the product’s first national print campaign created by Hal Riney & Partners/Heartland here.

Riney’s work is running in 27 magazines, from general interest journals such as People to more targeted publications such as Gourmet and Food & Wine.

Riney’s strategy was to reach beyond people who are vegetarians and health food fanatics and tap those trying to eat right who have never tried a non-meat burger, said Bill Marks, director of account services at Riney. ‘Even though it’s a healthy product, we felt we’re competing against all food advertising.’

The print ads feature drawings of various characters, with simple stories of how they tried the Gardenburger and enjoyed it. Dan Yacarino, a well-known children’s book illustrator, did the drawings.

One ad features a pear-shaped businessman named ‘Mr. Frumple,’ who comes home wanting to ‘smoke cigars and eat something naughty and good.’ To his initial chagrin, Mrs. Frumple is cooking up a Gardenburger, but once he tries it, Mr. Frumple ‘squeals with delight.’

‘Eating good just got great’ is the tagline.

‘These are about being satisfied and trying to do something good for yourself,’ Marks said.

The Gardenburger patties, made of mushrooms, rice, onions and cheese, have been available in health food stores nationwide but are just now entering mainstream supermarkets.

‘It’s really designed to get consumers aware and trying the Gardenburger,’ said Mary Dillon, vice president of marketing at Wholesome & Hearty Foods in Portland, Ore.

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED