If you haven’t heard, Cassoulet is a real hot dish (pun intended). This classic southern French stew, which takes its name from the vessel in which it is cooked, is having a moment here in the U.S. Cooks from all over are discovering this dish for the first time and taking it out for a spin via a traditional recipe, or one which incorporates alternative techniques and ingredients better suited to life in the States. However, ‘what grows together goes together’ as the saying goes, and so the natural pairing for Cassoulet is a Languedoc AOC wine since the dish originates from the area of Castelnaudry.

For the last three years, we have capitalized on this new trend and accompanying national #CassouletDay (January 9, 2018) to bring the wines of Languedoc to a new audience. Over these three years we have partnered with specialty foods purveyor D’Artagnan who, among other fine things, specializes in all things Cassoulet. In partnership with D’Artagnan we have run a sweepstakes to win a Cassoulet kit from D’Artagnan, and encouraged our fans to give Cassoulet a try as a pairing for Languedoc AOC wines.

This campaign has been very effective, allowing us to expand our fan base for Languedoc through exposure to D’Artagnan’s base of food (and wine) loving fans. This year we chose to take this further with an additional partnership with Honest Cooking and 3 other food bloggers. Each blogger chronicled the making of their own cassoulet, the recipe for which was a riff on the original but did utilize some traditional ingredients supplied by D’Artagnan. Each of these posts promoted Languedoc wines as the key wine pairing and our sweepstakes to win the Cassoulet kit. Through this, we reached each of their audiences, plus Honest Cooking’s audience as each post was ultimately shared on honestcooking.com as well.

A couple of keys to success for this campaign include:

  • Universality of prize – it is available nationally, and has broad appeal
  • No barriers to entry – we did not require much effort on the part of entrants
  • Discount bonus – the odds of winner were amortized somewhat by the fact that all entrants receives a discount code to utilize through the end of January on Cassoulet items from D’Artagnan
  • Right partners – D’Artagnan is well known and well respected in the food world. Honest Cooking and our 3 bloggers also reflected the focus on food and wine pairing – the prize is of most interest to cooks/foodies, so the associated content should be as well

Key metrics of 2018’s success:

  • Total Campaign Expense: Well, we can’t say, but it was low. Main costs were for the partnership and advertising.
  • Total Impressions: 3.2 million
  • Total CPM: $1.79 (c.f., PR at about $10-$12, or print ads at $50+)
  • New Emails: 2k
  • 8x previous year’s Facebook impressions and 2.5x Twitter impressions
  • Nearly 1,000 additional entries to sweepstakes over previous years