The Danish Whole Grain case study highlights positive social marketing techniques to promote healthy diets and help address childhood obesity. To encourage the Danish population to consume more whole grains, a logo was launched in 2009 by the Danish Whole Grain Partnership (DWGP), with collaboration between government, health non-profit organisations and organisations representing the food industry. The social marketing phase of the campaign included “on-the-street” promotions, television, radio broadcasts and social media activities. Most materials developed targeted the general population, although some specific populations were also targeted (e.g. a “Whole Grain Hero” cartoon mascot created to appeal to children). Social media played a crucial role and included online cooking, health communities and a dedicated website with customised content. The DWGP also created toolboxes so that food manufacturers and retailers could also contribute to the dissemination of the campaign by sharing materials through their online channels and in their stores. Campaign effectiveness was assessed through:
- Awareness and intention: 71% of Danes recognised the DGWP logo and 53% looked for the logo when buying products
- Sales of products with the logo increased by 7% and sales of wholegrain flour increased by 24%
- Whole grain intakes increased from 32g to 63g/day post-campaign
The Danish Whole Grain Campaign highlighted some central techniques to ensure the success of future health-oriented social marketing campaigns: engage multiple stakeholders; focus on gain-framed messaging; reduce opportunity costs for consumers; and promote using a multi-media approaches.