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Progresso cooks up mobile strategy using QR codes, mobile site

General Mills? Progresso brand is taking its first steps into mobile with a QR code campaign and a new Web site that uses responsive design to scale appropriately on mobile devices.

Recipe Starters is a new line of cooking sauces from Progresso developed with the intention of helping consumers to prepare a home-cooked meal. The idea of making meal preparation easier is carried through to the packaging for the new line, which features a QR code that can be scanned with a mobile phone to link users to 30 recipes.

?We?ve learned that when it comes to making dinner, consumers are looking for recipe inspiration,? said Audra Carson, associate marketing manager of meal solutions at Progresso, Minneapolis, MN.

?We?ve created more than 80 easy, weeknight recipes using Recipe Starters, but our challenge was that we only had room to print one recipe on each can,? she said. ?Consumers could certainly go to our Web site and find the recipes ? but we wanted to make it easier than that.

?When scanned, the Recipe Starters QR code brings consumers to a ?30 Days of Dinner Ideas? mobile experience featuring beautiful food photography and ? of course ? the recipes for how to make each dish.

Meal solutions
The benefit for consumers in finding a recipe while at the store is that they know which ingredients they need to buy while they are in the right place to buy them.

The benefit for retailers is that inspired consumers are more likely to buy products - ingredients for the recipes - that might not have otherwise been on their shopping lists.

?The Recipe Starters QR code experience has been extremely well received by retailers ? especially those focused on meal solutions,? Ms. Carson said.

Mobile starters
Recipe Starters is available in five varieties, each of which can be used as a starter to create different home-cooked meals. They include Creamy Parmesan Basil, Creamy Roasted Garlic, Fire Roasted Tomato, Creamy Portabella Mushroom and Creamy Three Cheese.

The line is targeted at families who want to serve home-cooked meals but do not have the time to start sauces from scratch after working all day. The sauces are meant to give these consumers a head start on creating their own home-cooked dinners.

For added inspiration, Progresso created 80 recipes using the line of cooking sauces.

One recipe is included on every label of Recipe Starters. Additionally, a QR code appears on the packaging that unlocks 30 more weeknight dinner ideas.

All 80 recipes are available on

This is the first time Progresso has used QR codes in its marketing efforts.

While consumer packaged goods companies have been slow to embrace mobile, there has been growing activity in this space recently from the likes of Kraft, Heinz, Procter & Gamble and Unilever, among others.

?The Progresso brand is just getting started with mobile with the introduction of Recipe Starters,? Ms. Carson said. ?To further support Recipe Starters, and the overall strategy for the Progresso brand, we also just re-launched our Web site ? ? using responsive design so that the site scales appropriately to be viewed the same on any device ? mobile, tablet and PC.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York