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Pulses: The Future of Food (PCN Summer 2015) JUL 2 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Pulse Canada

As more than 1,000 delegates left the Global Pulse Confederation’s annual conference in Las Vegas, there was a feeling that couldn’t be denied: It’s our time! Growers, processors, exporters, brokers and food manufacturers from around the world are getting behind a global pulse logo and campaign set to launch in November 2015. Pulses deliver improved nutrition, better health, and environmental sustainability, and the brand campaign aims to ensure that the world knows.

The launch of the brand campaign will coincide with the kick-off of the United Nations designated International Year of Pulses in New York in November.

Developing a Global Pulse Brand

The pulse industry commissioned Leo Burnett, a Chicago-based ad agency, to produce several concepts for the brand. In-depth consumer interviews took place in Boston, Chicago, Long Beach and Toronto to test these concepts.

Simultaneously, a series of consultations were held with retailers, food manufacturers, ingredient companies, and pulse trade from around the world. These intensive consultations and consumer insight research influenced the choice of logo and tagline.

Alongside the logo and campaign, a global website for consumers will be launched.

Brand Concept

The “pulses” logo is designed for use around the world, and will have enough flexibility to allow for local market modifications and translations. The word “pulses” will appear above the logo in every market, and the white space can be used for local adaptations (as in the Turkish example shown to right).

Research conducted by Leo Burnett confirmed that the tagline “The Future of Food” has global appeal. The “pulses” brand campaign is designed to inform and inspire a millennial generation; an audience that expects more from food. It represents the unique contribution that pulses make to society’s need for improved nutrition, better health, and sustainable food sources.

North American Advertising Campaign

Along with the brand, Leo Burnett will develop an advertising and promotional campaign targeting people under the age of 30 in North America. The campaign will use a combination of social media and traditional advertising to drive consumers to the “pulses” website.

What does the research show?

Consumer research shows that very few consumers in North America know what the word “pulses” means. When consumers are told that pulses are chickpeas, lentils, peas and beans, they recognize them, but often consider them a cultural food or food of the past. That said, the benefits of pulses very much align with consumer interests and food trends. The brand campaign will help consumers make this connection, and see pulses as a perfect fit for their diet.

Food manufacturers are looking for alternative protein sources and cleaner labels (reducing use of highly processed ingredients), which means pulses are positioned very well as a future ingredient. But manufacturers need help educating consumers to drive demand. They appreciate the white canvas under the word “pulses” as it provides a clean slate and tremendous opportunity to tell the pulse story of health, nutrition and environmental sustainability.

Re-launching a Food Category

The brand campaign will re-launch pulses as a food category. Brand funding partners are developing a user guide for the logo and will soon promote the logo worldwide to the pulse sector and food industry.

Food manufacturers around the world have already expressed interest in using the logo on food products and securing these partnerships is the next step in bringing the brand to life. This is our time. Pulses are the future of food.