Client spotlight: Nestlé Professional’s recipe for an Olympic win

Written by Trish McGee

The IKA/Culinary Olympics showcases the world’s best chef talent. Held every four years in Germany, these games are the oldest, largest, and most diverse international culinary arts competition in the world.  

Earlier this month, the Australian Junior Team competed in the global contest – backed by the support of Nestlé Professional, one of the principal sponsors of the Australian Culinary Federation (ACF) who manage and train the team.  

The client brief: The path from Golden Chef’s Hat to Culinary Olympics   

For nearly 60 years, Nestlé Professional has been committed to furthering the careers of the next generation of chefs through the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award, along with 20 years of sponsoring Australia’s National Youth Team on their journey to the Culinary Olympics.  

IMPACT was tasked with communicating Nestlé Professional’s support of the Junior Team on their road to Germany, its commitment to enhancing emerging chef talent, and how events, such as the Culinary Olympics, ensure a long-lasting and thriving foodservice industry.   

The campaign: Promoting Nestlé Professional’s legacy of nurturing young chefs  

IMPACT carried out a multi-pronged communications strategy targeting the foodservice industry in the lead up to the IKA/Culinary Olympics, focusing on:  

  • Anchoring to connection, people + partnership: IMPACT developed three key strategic content pillars to clearly demonstrate Nestlé Professional’s support of, partnership with, and connection to the Junior Team and underpin all campaign activity.  
  • Set for success: With multiple stakeholders and key messages associated with the announcement, developing a key message hierarchy to kick start the campaign was crucial to ensure consistency across media channels.   
  • Stakeholder engagement: To reach and inform Nestlé Professional staff and industry partners of this sponsorship, IMPACT developed engaging copy for the company’s monthly stakeholder newsletter, Talking Taste 
  • Social media excitement: To generate buzz in the lead up to the event, IMPACT developed a content library for Nestlé Professional’s owned social channels to execute over the course of the campaign. 
  • Earned media: IMPACT developed a targeted media outreach program, spearheaded by a hero media release. Placement was secured with key industry targets two months ahead of the IKA/Culinary Olympics. IMPACT also managed media interviews for Nestlé Professional spokespeople and Australia’s Junior Team Captain, Amber Heaton.   

The outcomes: Hungry media appetite for young culinary stars exceeds KPIs  

Through strategic, pre-Olympics owned and earned media outreach, IMPACT successfully executed a hyper-targeted industry campaign that anchored to connection, partnership, and people.   

Key outcomes from the campaign included:  

  • KPIs exceeded by more than 350 per cent – earned media reach of 112,800 with 34,826 impressions across print and online publications.   
  • 100 per cent of coverage included three or more key messages.  
  • 100 per cent of coverage included quotes from Nestlé Professional + Junior Team.   
  • Achieved an earned social reach of more than 13,000.   
  • Two interviews secured with Australia’s Junior Team Captain, Amber Heaton about the Olympics.   

The cherry on top was The Australian Junior Team bringing home a bronze medal in the ‘Restaurant of Nations’ competition, and a silver medal in the ‘Chef’s Table’ category. Congratulations team!    

Forget the Summer or Winter Olympic Games – we’re counting down to the next IKA/Culinary Olympic Games in 2028!    

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