Case 1 Jamie Oliver: cooking up a storm and changing people’s lives through food [pic] p. 24 Jamie Oliver is a phenomenon in the world of food. He enjoyed huge success with his debut television series The Naked Chef in 1999. For over 10 years, he has graced television screens as a favourite celebrity chef, and has become a presence on the high street – both as the face of Sainsbury’s, and by licensing the Jamie Oliver brand to numerous food and kitchenware producers.
His commercial activities are anchored by his mission: to change the way people eat, both in the UK and, now, America. Jamie’s CV is impressive, extending beyond books and television to include events, cooking schools, kitchen and lifestyle products, restaurants and wood-burning ovens. Birth of The Naked Chef Born on 27 May 1975, Jamie took an early interest in food, growing up in Essex, where his parents still run their own highly respected pub/restaurant.
The extent of his brand is even more impressive, given Jamie’s background which includes ‘average’ school grades, dyslexia and leaving school at 16 to complete his training at Westminster Catering College. After spending some time working in France, followed by a stint at Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant, London, Jamie joined the acclaimed River Cafe where he worked for three and a half years alongside Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. In 1997, he was featured in a television documentary about the River Cafe.
Soon after the documentary was aired, Jamie was offered his own television show and The Naked Chef was born. The Naked Chef first aired on the BBC in 1999. The concept behind The Naked Chef was to strip food down to its bare essentials. The show ran for six episodes as well as a Christmas special. The programme style was specifically designed to appeal to a young audience through Jamie Oliver’s personal approach to developing a no-nonsense approach to food (see Figure C1. 1 for Jamie’s brand print).
The show brought Jamie instant success, winning him a BAFTA Award for the best television series in the Features Category in 2000. The success from the television show also culminated in publishing opportunities. The Naked Chef book, published by Penguin Books, accompanied the first television series and it became an instant bestseller. A second and then a third television series were commissioned by the BBC, along with the second and third tie-in books: The Return of the Naked Chef and Happy Days with the Naked Chef, with the latter becoming the official Christmas No. in 2001 in the non-fiction chart. Jamie spent the autumn of 2001 conducting the Happy Days Tour which saw over 17,000 people packing theatres in the UK. Based on this success the tour moved to Australia and New Zealand, where he ‘played’ to sold out crowds in seven cities. Also in 2001, Jamie was cooking for the Italian Prime Minister at Tony Blair’s invitation at Downing St and writing various columns in magazines including GQ and The Times Magazine, taking his brand to a greater audience. |Figure C1. | |Jamie’s brand print | | | |[pic] | |Source: Jamie Oliver Brand Consultancy | | | p. 25
Jamie’s programmes have now been broadcast in over 100 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Japan and Iceland, and translated into over 30 languages. The accompanying cookbooks are bestsellers not only in the UK, but across the world (See Table C1. 1 for a complete list of books and television shows). Autumn 2010 saw his first foray into UK ‘daytime television’ with the launch of 30 Minute Meals, a daily television series at 5. 30 p. m. in the UK, which aimed to show cooks of all levels how to cook a whole meal in half an hour.
His 2010 book, Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals, became his first million-selling book in the UK as well as being the fastest-selling non-fiction book since records began. Jamie Oliver has become only the second author to pass ? 100 million with book sales totalling ? 100. 4 million to date. J. K. Rowling is the only other author to have passed the ? 100 million milestone. |Table C1. 1 | |List of Jamie Oliver’s television shows and books | | |[pic] | | | p. 26 Celebrity endorsement In 2000, Jamie became the face of Sainsbury’s in a deal worth approximately ? 2 million a year. Sainsbury’s chain of supermarkets comprises 480 stores selling on average more than 56,000 different products in each store. This deal gave rise to the birth of one of the UK’s longest-running celebrity endorsement campaigns.
Oliver was selected for his passion and flair for food, which was seen as a key way of updating the retailer’s historically reserved image, as Sainsbury’s lost its long-held number-one place in the UK grocery retail market to Tesco in 1996. The relationship was highly productive, with Oliver not only fronting advertising, but also getting deeply involved in product development and colleague training and engagement. This endorsement also gave him access to Sainsbury’s 14 million weekly shoppers. He fronted campaigns such as ‘Try something new today’ and ‘Feed your family for a fiver’.
The object of the ‘Try’ campaign was to get each consumer spending an extra ? 1. 14 every time they shopped, in order to achieve Sainsbury’s business goal of ? 2. 5 billion additional sales over three years. By January 2008, the ? 2. 5 billion goal had been achieved ahead of schedule. ‘Feed your family for a fiver’ created a range of 30 family meals with Sainsbury’s products, all costing under ? 5, substantial enough for a hungry family of four. This campaign was estimated to have generated ? 1. 12 billion of incremental revenue for the supermarket chain.
However, Oliver has faced criticism during his relationship with Sainsbury’s. In 2004, he appeared in a new Christmas advertisement, in which he visited a fish farm in Scotland. In the advertisement, he endorsed Sainsbury’s sourcing of salmon from a Scottish loch, claiming the cold water made the fish healthy. Yet Oliver reportedly refused to serve any farmed fish in his restaurant, Fifteen, which prompted a backlash in the press. Similarly, after refusing a BBC demand that he drop his lucrative Sainsbury’s contract, Oliver joined up with Channel Four to pursue his television shows.
Oliver officially ended his relationship with Sainsbury’s in July 2011. Changing lives through food Fifteen In 2001, Oliver opened a training restaurant for young people who were not in full time education or employment. Followed by cameras that documented his every move, he spent the year setting up a training scheme, the restaurant and the charity into which all the profits would be channelled. The series, Jamie’s Kitchen, broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK, became one of the biggest hit shows of the year.
It has now been shown in over 40 countries and the book, also called Jamie’s Kitchen, became a runaway success. The triumph of the restaurant was evident when it won Tatler Best Restaurant Award 2003 and the Academy Award of Excellence at the Tio Pepe Carlton London Restaurant Awards in the same year. Oliver was awarded an MBE in 2003 for his contribution to the hospitality industry. The Fifteen Foundation charity now owns Fifteen London and continues its work recruiting students for training in London.
Fifteen has three restaurants worldwide – Amsterdam, Cornwall and London – all of which operate a pioneering Apprentice Programme for young people between the ages of 18 and 24. Again he has faced criticism from food critics claiming the food is overpriced and service levels are poor. Similarly, the apprentice programme has been criticized for having a low graduate rate. These claims have been strongly defended by Oliver who points out that the restaurant does not compromise on the quality of the ingredients along with setting a future benchmark of a 70 per cent graduate rate from the programme.
Feed Me Better In 2004, motivated by the poor state of dinners in UK schools and their contribution to the childhood obesity rate of 25 per cent (the highest in Europe), Jamie embarked on one of his most ambitious ventures. He went back to school with the aim of educating and motivating the dinner ladies and kids to enjoy cooking and eating healthy, nutritious lunches rather than the processed foods that they were used to. He launched a national campaign called Feed Me Better (www. feedmebetter. com) and an online petition for better school meals.
As a result of the 271,677 signatures on the petition, which he took to 10 Downing Street on 30 March 2005, the government pledged an extra ? 280 million; with ? 220 million to deliver a minimum ingredient spend of 50p per meal for primary schools and 60p for secondary schools, backed with minimum nutritional standards. This work culminated in the award-winning series Jamie’s School Dinners, shown on Channel 4. The series prompted a public outcry for change to the school meals system. Between January and June 2005 there were a total of 1,016 articles with mentions of Jamie’s School Dinners, including 21 key leader articles.
Evaluation of print media coverage showed the public relations value was worth at least an additional ? 14. 1 million. The show was awarded Best Factual programme at the UK National TV Awards. Jamie also received a special award for his contribution to television at the National TV awards. A follow-up documentary, Jamie’s Return to School Dinners aired on Channel 4 in September 2006 and, as a result of his new findings, the British government made further investment in school meals and food education for school children.
The campaign revitalized Jamie Oliver’s brand image, taking him from celebrity chef to a truly national hero and champion of change. p. 27 Ministry of Food Jamie began 2008 fronting two major television programmes in the UK. Eat To Save Your Life used expert analysis as well as an autopsy by Dr Gunther von Hagens on a 25-stone man who literally ‘ate himself to death’, to try to change the dietary habits of a group of malnourished people.
Meanwhile, Jamie’s Fowl Dinners was an in-depth and challenging look at the British poultry industry with a message that unless British consumers were prepared to trade up to a higher welfare chicken and egg, the British poultry industry would suffer irreparably. Groups ranging from the RSPCA to farmers’ organizations praised the programme and the immediate result was an increase in sales of free-range and organic chicken of up to 50 per cent.
In 2008, he also appeared in The Big Give, the prime-time Oprah Winfrey-fronted hit show on ABC in the USA. His major project for 2008, however, was Jamie’s Ministry of Food, a Channel 4 television series which showed how people could be inspired to cook with just a little encouragement and information. The series, filmed in Rotherham, explored how friends, family and work-mates could be inspired to pass on recipes to each other and cook using fresh ingredients. After the success of the Ministry of Food centre, Rotherham
Council announced it would continue to fund the running of the centre and, by 2010, the Rotherham Ministry of Food centre was so successful that its classes were booked many weeks in advance with other centres opening across the UK. Food Revolution Jamie’s Food Revolution combines the ambitions of both Jamie’s Ministry of Food and Jamie’s School Dinners and exists to tackle the obesity epidemic in America. The campaign seeks to educate people about food and cooking, address the quality of the food served in school lunch halls and inspire food retailers to provide good quality, fresh, local food to their customers.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution premiered on ABC in America in March 2010, winning its slot each week with ratings peaking at 7. 5 million. He appeared on Oprah to launch the campaign and also carried out high-profile interviews on Letterman, Leno and Nightline as well as press interviews in The New York Times and TIME magazine. He became the recipient of the prestigious TED award for 2010 (previous winners have included Al Gore and Bono) at a ceremony in California. In August 2010, the Food Revolution series received an Emmy Award for Best Reality Series.
One of the most impressive aspects of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is the grassroots support he has built for his cause. Over 709,493 Americans have signed up to support his Food Revolution with the campaign being funded solely by donations made from the US public. However, he has faced some criticism from the USA who view the Food Revolution as a cynical means of targeting the Jamie Oliver brand to American consumers rather than a campaign for social change. Brand extensions – moving away from celebrity Jamie has a wide range of food and kitchenware products.
However, in 2009, Jamie Oliver Enterprises asked Pearlfisher to create an aspirational brand that communicates quality over celebrity to appeal to a more discerning consumer. Jme was launched online in March 2009, and via the Jamie at Home direct selling company. Jme is a diverse range of homeware and food products curated by Jamie Oliver and his buyers where products are chosen for beauty, efficacy and craft. The Jme stamp acts as a subtle endorsement, challenging the celebrity-led approach of so many lifestyle brands as his face or name does not appear anywhere on the brand.
The Jme brand liberated him from his mainstream mass market audience and enabled him to appeal to a more discerning and aspirational consumer base. Sales to March 2011 are on track to reach an annual brand growth of 166 per cent. By 2012, target sales will have increased by 244 per cent. Achieving these targets will make Jamie at Home the largest Party Plan Direct Selling business in the UK. Jme has had a halo effect on the Jamie Oliver brand overall.
His licensed goods have showed a 4 per cent increase in sales in the year since the launch of Jme, demonstrating that no cannibalization has occurred of other Jamie Oliver brands. Conclusion Jamie Oliver continues to effectively expand his brand using tactics such as reality television. The website jamieoliver. com has 1. 5million unique users per month. Late in 2009, Oliver launched an iPhone app called 20 Minute Meals which quickly became a best-seller and a huge hit in the UK and overseas, as well as winning the much coveted Apple Design Award for applications.
Similarly, Vodafone is to be the first operator to launch a made-for-mobile 3G television series. The series is being launched as a premium content download rather than a sponsored programme. In terms of social media Jamie Oliver has over 1,250,000 Twitter followers. The increasing popularity of the brand highlights the progression of Jamie Oliver using the traditional format of a cooking programme to the development of reality-based programmes. p. 28 Questions 1.
What distinctive value proposition was initially offered by Jamie Oliver in his books and TV shows that explains his success? 2. Evaluate the techniques used to build his brand profile. 3. How has the Jamie Oliver brand proposition changed over time? 4. What are the risks faced by his brand at this time? This case was prepared by David Cosgrave and Matthew Cannon, University of Limerick from published sources as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective management. [pic]