Grayling in Birmingham was behind an event attended by 130 Women’s Institute members celebrating 200 years since the introduction of the can as a way of preserving food.
Longstanding client Canned Food UK (CFUK) enlisted the agency, the current holder of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Midlands Agency of the Year, to celebrate the anniversary.
The city centre-based agency staged a day-long engagement event with Women’s Institute (WI) members from across the UK, which included demonstrations from CFUK’s advocates’ celebrity chef James Martin and broadcaster nutritionist Amanda Hamilton.
The event was hosted by chairman of CFUK, Steve Thomas.
Canned food dates back to the times of Napoleon Bonaparte, who offered a prize to anyone who could come up with a new way to preserve food to ensure the French armies could eat on their far-flung campaigns.
The prize was won by a confectioner named Nicolas Appert, who had discovered that heating food to high temperatures inside sealed glass jars preserved it.
It was only a matter of time before tinned iron canisters were introduced, which were lighter, easier to seal and less prone do damage.
Held at WI headquarters Denman College in Oxfordshire, the event organised by Grayling saw 130 WI ladies, along with national and local media, learn about the benefits of using canned food.
Grayling Midlands associate director Caroline Spence, who headed the project, said: “We brought James on board as an ambassador for CFUK around five years ago, and have used his high profile on many occasions to raise awareness of the nutritional and convenience benefits of cooking with canned food through initiatives such as a national schools cookery competition and a credit crunch cooking pack.
“We’re constantly looking at new innovative ways of raising the profile of our clients and by partnering with the WI to host an event with James, we gave CFUK the perfect opportunity to use a trusted voice to showcase its offer with a key target audience.”
Two new additions to the Grayling Midlands team also joined Ms Spence on the campaign.
The latest recruit, Stuart Haynes from Cannock, joins Grayling Midlands as senior client executive working across trade and consumer accounts.
Jade Devlin from Coventry joins Grayling as a client executive after graduating from Bournemouth. Canned Food UK is launching a free iPhone application later this year which features video recipe demonstrations and meal ideas.
The organisation was set up to promote canned food.
Members include companies who produce material for cans and make metal cans, to the distribution and manufacture of canned food products.
Its members include Baxters Food Group, Corus Packaging Plus, CROWN Food Europe and HJ Heinz.