The Aims and Objects of the Poultry Products Institute (of Canada)
By Canadian PoultryFeatures 100th anniversary Key Developments Business/Policy Canada
Some years ago I returned to Winnipeg for my vacation – Winnipeg where I lived ten of the happiest years of my life and. While there attended the dinner meeting of the Griffons Club – of which I was still an associate member. Unexpectedly, I was called upon to speak, and during he course of my extemporaneous remarks said, with admirable restraint, “Gentlemen, I stand before you, one of the wise men of the East,” whereupon one of my best friend exclaimed, in a most vulgar tone, “oh, yeah?” I resolved never to make that mistake again!
But, ladies and gentlemen, there are wise men in the East, just as there are wise men in the West, and there are conscientious men to, and I do feel very sincerely that a goodly portion of them in the East and in the West are acting as officers and directors of the Poultry Products Institute of Canada and as officers and directors of the various organizations who helped form the Institute and are actively supporting it in its work.
I hope I am not taking too much for granted in assuming that through the means of our brochure, as well as by word of mouth between members of the industry, most, if not all of you, are familiar with the aims and objects of the Institute and have some idea of how we plan to explore and develop various channels of publicity to increase the domestic consumption of poultry and poultry products. If any have not received a copy of the brochure, one is available for you here.
A manufacturer or producer of a given product has three important steps to consider if he hopes to make a success of his enterprise:
- Make or produce a high quality product.
- Tell his prospective customer about it.
- Distribute it as efficiently as possible.
Now I do not want to suggest that we can sit back on our laurels, nor that there is not plenty of room for improvement, but I do believe that the Canadian poultry industry has made wonderful strides in the production of high quality poultry and poultry products and in the efficient distribution of them. The reputation they hold on the world’s markets speaks for itself; but, ladies and gentlemen, aside from a few localized attempts and certain advertising by commercial houses, little or nothing has been done by the industry about that second, very important step – “tell the prospective customer about it.” The Poultry Products Institute of Canada was formed to fill that gap!
Suppose we try a little quiz test.
- What kind of soap floats?
- How much of your overhead is underfoot? Refers to what kind of product?
- Ask the man who owns one or when better _______ are built _________will build them publicizes what commodities?
- Save the surface and you save all is used to help sell which of the following?
(a) a hair tonic
(b) a tooth paste
(c) paints and varnishes.
I think I could safely say that you could answer those questions 99 to 100 per cent correct. Why? Because the producers of those products told their prospective buyers about them. Well, that’s our job too!
To embark on a new enterprise and a few months later to try and talk about it, is not always easy, but in this case we are fortunate in having out United States counterpart, the ten year old, very successful, Poultry and Egg National Board to hold up as an example of what can be done. On the inside back cover of our brochure you will find some very significant figures. During the ten years the Poultry and Egg National Board has been in existence the per capita consumption of eggs in the United States increased 30% as compared with an increase of 13% in Canada. Per capita consumption of chickens increased 45% and turkeys 92% as compared with an increase in Canada of all poultry only of 12½%.
What has the Poultry and Egg National Board done to encourage Mr. and Mrs. America to eat more poultry and poultry products? Here are examples of some of the material they have produced. These recipes are worked out in their own kitchens by their own staff of dietitians. They have photographs taken of the various dishes and these photographs and recipes are provided free of charge to consumer read magazines and newspapers. The eight-page full colour spread in McCalls – read by 3,800,000 homemakers, is an outstanding example. Another ingenious move was the invitation extended to every governor of every state in the Union to send in his favourite way of eating chicken with his or his wife’s recipe if at all possible. Thirty-eight recipes were received, checked by the P.E.N.B. Home Economics staff, and published in a booklet entitled “Chickens U.S.A.” This booklet was “written up” by a news service reporter and published all over the United States. Newspapers in every state in the Union started running the recipes in serial form – all valuable publicity for the poultry industry. We are going to do a similar thing in Canada. Some of the publicity channels through whom P.E.N.B. spread the story of poultry and egg nutrition are radio and television food programme directors, newspaper and magazine editors, syndicated food columns, home demonstration agents, dietitians and nutritionists, chefs and managers of institutions, home economics teachers, home service directors, public health workers, librarians and demonstrations at conventions. Their office is a beehive of activity with women editors coming to them continually for help in preparing articles for their publications.
Your Poultry Products Institute of Canada is receiving wonderful cooperation from Homer Huntington, General Manager and Kathryn Niles, Home Economics Director, of P.E.N.B. We have written authorization for the use of their materials given. We are grateful for their wholehearted cooperation.
But what are we doing and what plans have we in mind. Unfortunately, an organization like your Poultry Products Institute cannot be formed over night. A great deal of organizational work must be done. If we expect the industry to support us we must tell them why we were formed and how we plan to function. The brochure was produced for that purpose.
- We felt it had to be complete, yet not too comprehensive
- We believe it should be right and of good quality in appearance and yet not too costly
- Its proposed contents were written and re-written, edited and re-edited, until we felt we had finally produced a brochure of which our directors need not be ashamed.
We trust you agree.
While the production of the brochure took a great deal of time and there were maddening delays in approval of our name Ottawa officials, we were not idle during the formative months. We have built up live mailing lists all across Canada, to which our material will be directed, consisting of:
166 Daily and Weekly Newspapers
20 Consumer Read Magazines
2100 Better Class Restaurants
826 Home Economists
770 Dietitians and Nutritionists
64 Radio Broadcasters
We are now working on lists of women’s organizations whose membership comprise many of the buyers and cookers of poultry and eggs for Canadian tables, such as:
(a) Women’s Institutes
(b) Catholic Women’s Organizations
(c) Canadian Association of Consumers
So far we have produced two items of interest to some of these lists: “Frying Chicken – Four Methods” a reprint of a P.E.N.B. release which the Canadian Restaurant Association distributed to their members from coast to coast about 2,000 of them. We are working on ways and means of getting it into the better class hotels. Chicken, properly prepared in public eating houses means more chicken eaten, and more chicken eaten helps Canada’s poultry industry. The Canadian Hotel & Restaurant Magazine, with our permission, published a condensed version of “Frying Chicken – Four Methods.” It was given an attractive heading and carried an invitation to operators of hotels, restaurants and institutions to write to the Poultry Products Institute of Canada for complete copies. More valuable publicity! Another production was a press release calling to the attention of Canadian housewives that for the next couple of months A medium and A small eggs will be the best buy, thus encouraging the consumption of these sizes at a time when they are reaching the market in volume. Let me read it to you. We know of several radio broadcasters who used this material and a number of newspapers. Later we will have a more complete survey through clippings sent to us by the Canadian newspaper clipping service. For two weeks before this release was sent out, the Toronto market for A medium eggs was draggy with prices gradually sagging. Within 48 hours after the release demand started to improve, soon gained momentum and prices advanced 5c to 6c per doz. A small, yet I think significant piece of service, was our exchange of correspondence with Ogilvie Flour Mills, which with a similar protest by Mr. Arthur Wilson of the Canadian Produce Council, resulted in them removing an objectionable phrase “no Expensive Egg To Add” from their newspapers and radio advertising.
Now about some of our plans. We hope and fully expect to sponsor a visit of Miss Kathryn Niles, P.E.N.B. Home Economics Director, to Canada next April to put on one of her demonstrations a the Annual Convention of the Canadian Restaurant Association. We want to use Miss Niles as a focal point around which to build publicity for poultry and poultry products. One plan is to have a special breakfast or luncheon to which to invite newspaper and magazine writers and radio broadcasters of food programmes to meet Miss Niles and some of our fine Canadian Home Economists, as well as our own Home Economist, whom we hope to have appointed by that time. We have one excellent person, a fine demonstrator, in mind that we hope to interest in our work on a part-time basis.
Through the cooperation of P.E.N.B. we will soon issue a leaflet “Cutting Turkey For Parts,” describing in detail a wonderful demonstration given before the Annual Meeting of the National Association of the United States last May. The Canadian Restaurant Association and others are eagerly awaiting this release.
Through the cooperation of the Consumer Service of the Department of Agriculture, Ottawa, we are planning a series of slide films with accompanying texts, which will be lent to Home Economics teachers for use in teaching their students how to cook eggs, chicken, turkeys, etc. Such slide films have been immensely popular and extremely helpful in United States.
Then we must soon produce our own material in the form of illustrated recipes or distribution to the lists already referred to. There is a crying need for such material. Before we have had a chance to get started the Food Editor for the Star Weekly, the secretary of the Canadian Association of Consumers and others have written in and asked for our materials.
- We want to get to work on “Chicken-Canada” or whatever we may call it. A good project such as P.E.N.B.’s “Chicken U.S.A.” is worth copying!
- We visualize distinctive Canadian poultry and egg recipes with photographs for press and radio.
- We think we should publish P.E.N.B.’s advertisements, publicizing the food value of poultry and eggs, in Canadian medical and dietetic journals.
- We might stage a contest for original recipes with new, catchy names. At a recent meeting of the Poultry Industry Committee of Ontario, Mr. John Bradshaw of Station C.F.R.B. Toronto asked why we didn’t glamourize poultry and poultry products and why stick to such names as “Southern Fried Chicken.” He pointed out that tourists like to try new dishes and that our friends from south of the border would be interested in “Canadian Fried Chicken,” an intriguing suggestion!
- Articles for consumer magazines such as “Eggs Are What You Make Them” which appeared in a recent issue of McLean’s Magazine.
- Booths might be arranged at Exhibitions when recipes would be distributed along with such articles as a simple egg timer.
- Research work is being done to provide material for an address to be given to service clubs on their ladies’ day, to church groups and other women’s organizations. The talk will be factual, informative and entertaining. If given at a dinner meeting attempts would be made to have chicken served, cooked to a special recipe, which recipe would be distributed to all present along with our materials.
Possibly you may have observed an absence of any suggestion in this address of space buying in newspapers and magazines. The reason of course is the tremendous financial outlay that would be required. About the only space buying done by P.E.N.B. has been a series of advertisements giving the food values of eggs, chicken and turkey meats, referred to above. These were published in the Journals of the American Medical Association and the American Dietetic Association. No doubt it would be worthwhile and not too expensive for us to do something similar in corresponding Canadian publications. Rest assured this will have our careful attention.
As far as space buying in newspapers and magazines is concerned, a minimum advertising campaign that would be at all worthwhile would cost a little over $60,000.00. This would be made up as follows:
“A” List – 22 Large Metropolitan Dailies – twelve 500-line advertisements (approx. 3 cols by 12 inches deep).
“B” List – 45 Dailies – twelve 250-line advertisements.
“C” List – 9 Dailies – ten 250-line advertisements.
La Revue Populaire – 5 ½ pages in 4 colours
Chatelaine – 5 ½ pages in 4 colours
Should we ever get around to considering such a programme – providing we had the funds to finance it – a great many factors have to be taken into consideration. For instance I have tables here showing the number of families, the population in the city and trading areas, the retail sales, the net effective buying income and food sales by provinces an in thirty leading cities in Canada. These are not guesswork. They are the result of painstaking research. The figures are too voluminous to read to you. It would be impossible to follow them, but percentage wise, the net effective buying income is divided as follows:
British Columbia 9%
New Brunswick 2%
Nova Scotia 3%
Prince Edward Island 4%
Obviously, such factors have to be taken into consideration in planning any advertising campaign. One thing we have to keep to the fore-front of our thinking is that publicity must be directed at the urban consumer who eats a great percentage of the product of the farm. While the financing of any such space buying programme may look too ambitious at the moment, I thought it worthwhile mentioning this to you very briefly to give you some idea of the problems and cost involved.
Any budget for 1952 will have to be discussed and ratified by the Directors of the Institute at their first annual meeting, which will probably be held next February.
For the moment I can only suggest that for 1952 we continue to aim at the same total budget, namely $31,000.00. This should provide us with $8,000 to $9,000 dollars to spend on actual promotional work. Obviously, the more money contributed the more promotional work we can do because little or no increase in administrative expenses would occur. I hope I have already make it clear that on such a modest budget space buying is out of the question, but with $8,000 to $9,000 dollars, plus assistance from the Department of Agriculture, we will transform our “plans” and “dreams” into actualities.
The budget states clearly, I think, the way it is proposed to finance the Institute. Those who have worked hard on it so far and have seen what can be done, do not need a “second call” to bring in their contributions. Many, to whom the Brochure was their introduction to the Institute, have already sent in their money. This is encouraging, but human nature being what it is, we know there will have to be “follow ups.” If the Secretary-Manager, particularly on a part time basis, is to do the promotional work, he cannot spend all his time trying to collect money to finance it.
It has been proposed, therefore, that provincial committees be set up consisting of:
- The Institute Director in the province.
- A member of the Canadian Produce Council in the province.
- A member of the Canadian Poultry Council in the province. (In other words the member of the Provincial Poultry Industry Committee.)
These three, with full power to add, would be given lists of contributors in their province and would be responsible for contacting non-contributors and soliciting support.
In Ottawa, on Monday, the Canadian Produce Council endorsed this plan and approved the work of the Industry to date. It is hoped the other bodies will do likewise.
Let us always bear in mind that the more poultry and poultry products consumed in Canada, the more we can produce, thus giving more volume for the hatcheryman, more volume to the distributor and higher prices to the producer.
Mr. Chairman, I could go on and on, but I fear I have already monopolized too much of your Convention time. In conclusion, let me issue a warning. Consumption of poultry and poultry products has been good. Some may feel we do not need to publicize them. That is a dangerous myth. Business and therefore earnings have been unduly inflated by artificial factors. First we had the tremendous demands on production generated by World War II. Then the backlog of postwar needs both home and abroad. Now the requirements of rearmament. This sequence of extraordinary demands has lasted a long time. Some experts believe it will continue a year or two longer, again building up deferred needs in some lines. But unless we start the sequence all over again with a third world war, which God forbid, we must contemplate a slackening of these boom conditions and the return to what might be called normal industrial activity. When that time comes the consumer will tighten his belt. If Mr. & Mrs. Canada are to continue to eat poultry and eggs in good volume they must be made aware of the body building values of the products you produce and shown how to prepare them in the most palatable manner. I sincerely believe your Poultry Products Institute of Canada can and will do that job for you. Therefore, I also believe that it is worthy of your mental, physical and financial support.
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