With holiday plans in question, Kinney helped ensure the brand was the go-to source for Thanksgiving info (and turkeys).
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in 2020, shoppers, brands and retailers alike had to adapt to evolving restrictions, mandates and needs. At Butterball, the largest U.S. producer of turkey products, executives were tasked with the challenge of understanding what Thanksgiving 2020 would look like for both holiday hosts and retail partners, and what role the manufacturer could play in delivering a much-needed day of respite.
“It was important for us that, as things evolved, we evolved to continue to meet the hosts’ needs and really be their resource for making sure they could have that special turkey no matter the size of the gathering – no matter if they ever prepared a turkey before,” says Natalie Kinney, director of insights and new product concepts at Butterball.
In her role, Kinney is responsible for commissioning and synthesizing syndicated and primary research for Butterball. The learning is used by sales and marketing teams for line extensions, innovation, monitoring brand health and creating retail sales strategy and tactics. Recognizing that Thanksgiving 2020 would be unique, Kinney commissioned three waves of omnibus surveys (via Ipsos). The first wave surveyed consumers in the summer asking them, for example, how they were feeling about the holiday and if it was even on their mind. The second wave launched after the back-to-school season in September, and the third and final survey was conducted before Thanksgiving to understand consumers’ ultimate plans.