MacKenzie Agency Food Public Relations

Only authentic foods from Italy qualify as True Italian. Yet marketers around the world try to ride the coattails of the world’s most popular cuisine by offering products with borrowed Italian imagery, hoping to fool consumers into buying inferior, non-Italian foods. This practice hurts Italy’s producers and undermines the strength of the Product of Italy brand. The Italian Ministry of Agriculture turned the MacKenzie Agency for ammunition to protect the reputation and North American market share of Italy’s agriculture sector.

MacKenzie’s “True Italian” campaign staged a series of “Food Summits” to educate chefs, food trade buyers and consumers about the benefits of True Italian. ¬†Assembling expert panels of chefs, buyers, restaurateurs, and food pundits, moderated by internationally renowned restaurant consultant Clark Wolf, the Agency launched its True Ingredients Food Summit in Vancouver, using the 2010 Olympic Winter Games as backdrop and the Italian Olympic Team as the nominal hosts. Subsequent True Ingredients Summits were held in Seattle, San Francisco and New York, arguably the most trend-forward food markets in the U.S. ¬†The campaign also include tasting events where True Italian products were favorably compared to their imitators. The campaign also included on-label True Italian branding with point-of-sale materials widely distributed at retail.

Measurable improvement in sales of authentic True Italian products. Massive participation by retailers in the True Italian point-of-sale program.

“The MacKenzie Agency promised to do one thing really well – food and beverage communications. But that wasn’t exactly true: they do much more than one thing really well. In difficult conditions and in a short time they produced 57 million impressions and used their infinite network to introduce us to buyers and influencers throughout the United States. They have tremendous knowledge of the business, and the agency staff worked tirelessly to accomplish all they promised, and more, with scrupulous adherence to budget. I especially admire how they never rely on marketing-speak, but instead communicate in the language of people who love food and life, the language spoken by our clients and consumers. Those are the qualities that really move our business. The MacKenzie Agency is not just outstanding at communication, it makes things happen, producing real business deals, really well.”

Gianluigi Contin

AssistGroup/Italian Ministry of Agriculture TrueItalian Campaign