SAMANTHA BOAS: Welcome to Inside the Incredible Egg. Inside the Incredible Egg is a podcast produced by the American Egg Board with the purpose of keeping our producers up to date with what’s happening at the board and in the egg industry. I’m Samantha, this summer’s industry affairs and engagement intern. Today’s episode will cover our summer marketing campaign, the #EggDishChallenge. To talk about this campaign, I have with me Sue Coyle, the director of integrated marketing at the American Egg Board.
BOAS: Can you tell me about the summer marketing campaign?
SUE COYLE: Sure, so it is called #EggDishChallenge. It is a TikTok program and to help American restaurants recover coming out of the pandemic where so many were hit really hard, we wanted to do a program that really strongly encouraged people to get back to the restaurants this summer. As people are coming out of lockdown from the pandemic, one of the things they missed really badly was the neighborhood restaurant spots, so we wanted to do something that really celebrated those restaurants that we love. So we created the TikTok program.
It’s called #EggDishChallenge and what it is is a team of influencers hosted or led by Chef Lovely who is a very popular TV chef. She has shows on both the Oprah Network as well as Discovery+ Network and she has filmed a video that is on TikTok at her favorite restaurant which is called Fratelli Café in Los Angeles. And in the video, she talks about her favorite egg dish which is Green Eggs and Ben which is like a spinoff of eggs benedict. She thinks it’s the best egg dish she has ever had, and she kind of calls out a challenge to other TikTokers to prove her wrong. And with that, we have 10 other food-focused TikTok influencers that are doing the same thing. They are filming their favorite dish at their favorite restaurant and then they are posting it on TikTok. Combined altogether, these influencers including Chef Lovely have over 11 million followers which is a huge amount to start a campaign with.
We are just hoping for the word to spread and for a lot of Americans to do the same and feature their favorite egg dish at their favorite neighborhood restaurants this summer. So it’s really a simple idea, but we are hoping that people feel the passion and the love and really kind of give back to their neighborhood restaurants so that they can continue to recover from the pandemic. And of course with that focus on eggs, we want them to enjoy their favorite egg dish and there are just so many different ways that people do enjoy them. And the TikTok program is bringing that to life with the videos featured on many different recipes.
BOAS: Where did the idea for the challenge come from originally?
COYLE: So in our strategic plan, we wanted to focus on restaurants and with COVID, the nature of how we’re supporting them is different than we probably would have done if COVID didn’t happen. Knowing that there’s a lot of regional food tastes across all food, internally we just discussed, wouldn’t it be interesting if we could feature lots of the different regional tastes of America through eggs. And so that’s really where it started, and we have not worked with TikTok before but we evaluated different social media options and TikTok seemed to really rise above the potential and the reach for the program and seemed really appropriate because most TikTok videos are done in very fun and entertaining ways. So we thought it would bring this nugget, this idea we had to life really well.
BOAS: How will the challenge ultimately help egg producers and the restaurants that are featured?
COYLE: Encouraging people to go back to restaurants. You know, a lot of people because they were stuck at home cooked a lot more and used a lot more eggs than usual. Now they are so happy to be let out of the house. We just want to make sure that they maybe frequent their favorite spot a little bit more often and having those daily communications through TikTok about these different egg dishes through the appetite appeal and the fun and passion that the TikTokers are showing for their restaurants. The strategy is to drive more people to restaurants to eat more egg dishes than ever. And through that, that will help our producers because with the more traffic and more consumption will be an increase in egg sales.
BOAS: With the challenge starting at the beginning of the summer, can you give an update on where the challenge is now and how the challenge is ending?
COYLE: The challenge ended on July 22 and that ended with a new custom video that Chef Lovely created for us, promoting again that America’s egg farmers are very passionate about helping restaurants get back on their feet and kind of thanking them and all the participants who created their custom TikTok videos. We had over 56 million views across all of the TikTok videos, all of the influencers plus Chef Lovely. We even had some AEB staff create their own videos, so that is a huge number. And we are now starting the fulfillment process, awarding the checks to 10 of the restaurants. In fact, we had a great event yesterday in Los Angeles. We had an opportunity to go on a local TV station, KTLA, and we had Chef Lovely and the chef from the winning Los Angeles restaurant which is named Cilantro Lime. And he cooked up his huevos rancheros and Chef Lovely talked again about America’s egg farmers and how they dedicated this program to helping restaurants and creating awareness and driving people back to the restaurant. And at the end of that little demo, we had Chris Nichols from Chino Valley Ranchers step onto the set and award Chef Leo with a $10,000 check, so that was really fun. Chef Leo was really touched and really grateful and he said that the money would really be put to good use. So, we will be continuing to fulfill those checks throughout the summer, over the next couple weeks. I’m sure that they’ll be really well-received.
BOAS: Is there anything else you want to add?
COYLE: The TikTokers that are featured in the program are across the country in certain markets and the videos and the food that they feature are so appetizing and delicious looking. I would encourage anybody to go to #EggDishChallenge and take a look because I think they would get a lot of inspiration. If they don’t live in that market, they could maybe try to make it at home or if they are going to be travelling to that market they might want to visit that restaurant.
BOAS: Thank you for listening to Inside the Incredible Egg. In our next episode, we are talking to Dr. Mickey Rubin, the executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center, about the recently released 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and what the guidelines mean for egg consumption.