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Campbell Soup Co. picks Pollinate to cook up mobile app

Campbell Soup Co. recently ran a contest to find a developer to create search-based recipe applications for Web, mobile and tablet devices.

The company felt that by partnering with a developer, it would be able to tap into capabilities and expertise of others to accelerate innovation. Pollinate won the first place prize worth $50,000 for the Hack the Kitchen contest.

?With Hack the Kitchen, we want to make the entire dinner process easier ? from choosing what to eat and how to prepare it to incorporating pantry items and understanding the health benefits of various meal options,? said Adam Kmiec, director of digital marketing and social media at Campbell Soup Company.

?This was the first time Campbell reached out directly to the developer community, as we felt that partnering in this way allowed us to tap into the capabilities and expertise of others outside the company to accelerate innovation,? he said. 

Mobile callout
Pollinate?s app for Campbell Soup was designed to help home cooks everywhere answer the age-old question, ?What?s for Dinner??

Judging took place at Google in New York on March 22. In addition to the $25,000 prize, Pollinate also received a $25,000 contract to bring the idea to life.

Campbell opened the contest up to developers in the United States. The focus of the initiative was for developers to come up with creative ideas for the ultimate ?What?s for Dinner?? meal time solutions.

As part of the contest, Campbell made its Campbell?s Kitchen API available to the semi-finalists. is an online recipe resource with more than 3,000 recipes that use Campbell?s Condensed soups, Swanson stocks and broths, Prego Italian sauces and other Campbell products.

According to the company, nearly 150 entries were narrowed down to six finalists that presented their ideas to the judges in front of a live audience.

Judges included executives from Campbell, LockerGnome and Buzzfeed. To judge the competition, the executives looked at how well the app answered the ?What?s for Dinner? questions, the relevance and value of the app, whether the app was a unique or new approach to an old problem and the overall presentation of it. 

Pollinate, a team of 12 members, developed the winning app, titled FoodMood.

Instead of taking a traditional route and developing an app that features recipes sorted by ingredients or popularity, the winning app adds a different dimension to the dinner selection process, helping consumers find recipes based on their mood.

?With the winner now selected, we?ll work with the Pollinate team to develop the app,? Mr. Kmiec said. ?We expect our new mealtime solutions app to be available in the fall of 2013, just in time for soup season.

?Our goal at Campbell is to be the preferred meal solutions partner to consumers,? he said. ?Given that today?s consumer is more connected than ever, we?re using our insights to deliver consumer-focused innovation that leverages the power and reach of digital and social media.?

Past efforts
Campbell Soup has been innovating in the mobile space for a while now.

In 2011, the company?s iAd campaign received about 53 million impressions, with approximately 530,000 of the users that saw the ad clicking through and engaging with it for nearly one minute (see story).

Most recently, Campbell Soup was one of two consumer packaged goods brands piloting a new mobile advertising platform that lets brands deliver personalized ads based on purchasing behavior and tie their media buy back to in-store sales (see story).

?We?re at an exciting juncture at Campbell as we dive further into the digital and mobile space,? Mr. Kmiec said. ?Mobile technology is changing the way many consumers shop by enabling them to make shopping decisions earlier in the path to purchase ? at home, at work and wherever they are. 

?To connect with these consumers, we have been creating a presence in mobile search, apps, mobile-optimized sites, mobile-friendly coupons and by partnering with thought leading digital marketing companies,? he said. 

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York