YORK, P.E.I. – Vesey’s Seeds in York is about to get some major brand exposure in the United States.
Vesey’s and General Mills reached an agreement that went into effect on Thursday to put the Vesey’s logo on 10 million boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios cereal in the United States and one million in Canada.
It’s all part of a partnership that began in 2016 that saw General Mills and Vesey’s unite to bring awareness to the plight of the bee. The Bring Back the Bees promotion was not only to draw attention to the importance of the bee and its relationship to the world food supply, but it was also hoped that through the distribution of more than 200,000 packages of seed that Canadians could do their part to create a small habitat for the pollinators and attract them to their own vegetable and flower gardens.
“It started well over a year and a half ago when myself and their marketing people were talking about what we might be able to do together in order to draw attention to the plight of the bees because bees’ health is coming under pressure from a variety of reasons, environmental, development (and) dangerous sprays,’’ said John Barrett, director of sales for marketing and development for Vesey’s.
To get brand recognition on top of that is huge, Barrett said.
“The U.S. market is so huge that reaching potential gardeners is a very expensive and complicated process. Not only will we be able to bring the much-needed attention to the plight of the bee, our brand will also become recognized throughout every state, and through these efforts we hope to see our market share increase.’’
Vesey’s and General Mills capitalized on their 2016 efforts by partnering again this year. This time, there was a full page in the Vesey’s Seeds catalogue dedicated to the importance of the bee along with General Mills’ recruitment of their grocery chain customers to assist in distributing 2.5 times the number of packages of bee-friendly wildflower seeds.
Vesey’s has already shipped out two million packages of its Bee Friendly Wildflower Mix to General Mills in the U.S. and 700,000 packages to General Mills Canada to
support the efforts of the campaign.
Through Vesey’s participation in the bees promotion in Canada and the U.S., Barrett said the company is hopeful that the exposure gained will boost sales, particularly in the U.S. where Vesey’s will now be featured prominently on the cereal boxes.
“For us to see that many packages being distributed with our name and our website, our address and our phone number and to have the presence and visibility with our logo and everything on that many boxes of cereal, it’s all good.
“The kind of exposure is worth into hundreds of thousands of dollars. You could never afford to buy it.’’
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