Participation in the “Koshary Festival” Al Horreya Park, Cairo 17th January 2015

MPOC-Cairo is capitalizing on the trend and significance of using an integrated mix of communications tools and techniques to maximize the effectiveness of Malaysian palm oil promotional programs, a tailored strategy that MPOC-Cairo is pursuing to aggressively promote Malaysian palm oil products to the Egyptian market and communicate with the highly populated market. MPOC-Cairo’s goal is to integrate online and offline communication tools. This approach offers new opportunities for disseminating palm oil information among Egyptian consumers, enhance the knowledge about its nutritional and techo-economic attributes. This approach also reinforces the program’s overall effectiveness and strengthens connection with target audience.

The main objectives of participating in Koshary Festival are to introduce palm olein to the Egyptian consumers, educate them on palm oil, expand the awareness on the versatile applications of palm oil and its healthy & technical attributes through various online and offline activities that was carried-out both pre-event and during the event day. Activities included facebook contest that run before the event, while on the event day, there were display of wide range of palm-based products, on-site frying demonstration, and fun games that stimulate participants to take part and obtain more information on palm oil.

Egypt’s population is rising at an extremely progressive rate, with a growing population of more than 90 million. Egypt represents one of the largest markets in the region with total oils and fats imports reaching 1.8 million tonnes in 2013. The demand for edible oils in Egypt keeps rising due to the natural changes of demographics in terms of population increase, urbanisation proliferation, and eating habits. Egypt is a major consumer of oils and fats including palm oil. Even though traditionally, Egypt is a solid fats market, the liquid oil market segment is growing steadily. Blended cooking oils is making inroad into the major supermarkets and retail outlets in Egypt. Several blended cooking oils brands are now available in these supermarkets. Egypt is a net importer of oils & fats. Domestic demand far exceeded the domestic production of oils and fats and the country is not expected to achieve self-sufficiency anytime soon.  Blended cooking oil is very prevalent in the Egyptian market, as it appeals to a wide consumer base with its affordability and versatility. Palm olein is either blended with one single refined oil, such as sunflower oil, soybean oil, or corn oil, or mixed with multiple oils.

Koshary Festival is being promoted as the largest outdoor food festival in Egypt. This public event was held at Al Horreya Park on Saturday, 17th January. About 6,000 attendees turned up to the festival. MPOC-Cairo selection and participation in the Koshary Festival was based on the fact that the whole event symbolizes an icon to Egypt itself. Egypt attempted to get in the Guinness Book of Records, by making the world biggest plate of koshary at the Koshary Festival. Koshary is a traditional Egyptian dish dating to the 19th century in which rice, pasta and lentils are mixed together in one plate with a topping of spicy tomato sauce and some crispy fried onions. With a huge plate of koshary measuring 10 metres long and in width and of 1.2 metres in height, the plate weighed 7 tonnes, or about 7,000 kg., earning it a place in the world record books.

The festival is the largest gathering of restaurants in one place, with over 80 booths selling different kinds of foods to visitors and 20 booths selling several different products. This was one of the biggest gatherings of people sharing common interests. The festival started at 11am and lasted till 11pm.

MPOC-Cairo integrated various online and offline communication tactics to maximize the output of the program. The message was framed and delivered in new and creative techniques as stipulated below:

1-  Pre-event

– Facebook Contest:

The online contest aimed at increasing MPOC-Cairo facebook fans knowledge on palm oil. The contest was designed to test our fans information and enhance their knowledge level. It runs 10 days before the main physical event “Koshary Festival” where total participation reached 1343 with 596 persons involved and 75 winners were selected. Prizes of the contest were free invitations to attend the festival and visit MPOC-Cairo booth & join the various on-sight activities. This is a way to develop and empower relationship with our fans through face-to-face interactions together with the virtual one through the facebook page. This contest has resulted in the increase of facebook fans by 3000 fans.

– Online Promotional Campaign

MPOC-Cairo carried out a promotional campaign to approach new fans to participate in the online contest and to announce our participation in the Koshary Festival and inform about MPOC-Cairo activities during the festival. Announcements were made about the food sampling, and the celebrity chef who will carry out the frying demonstration.

2-  During the event

MPOC put in place an effective mechanism to run all the activities in parallel, and to get the people to participate in all of activities. MPOC-Cairo was unique during the event day, as no other booth had such activities and creative ideas to promote their products. That’s why MPOC-Cairo booth attracted a huge crowd with too many positive feedbacks from visitors commenting that it was the best out of the whole event in the way of communication with people and creativity as well. MPOC-Cairo booth attracted about 1000 visitors who participated in all the activities performed during that day

– Onsite frying demonstration and food tasting

MPOC-Cairo collaborated with Chef Wesam Masoud, a popular local chef in implementing this consumer-related program. Chef Wesam is the presenter of the famous TV cooking program Motbokh 101, giving his audience cooking techniques, airing on CBC’s food channel. He also manages his own restaurant in one of the biggest malls in Egypt.

Guests were given the opportunity to taste various dishes through coupon distribution to members of the public who participated in MPOC’s activities to make sure that the designed message was successfully transmitted. The coupon was a useful tool in encouraging our visitors to try various palm olein dishes in a more systematic way.

–  Wheel of fortune game

The wheel of fortune game was designed in a customized approach to stimulate MPOC’s visitors to join the game. The concept of this game was based on incorporating key messages on palm olein. This helped to reinforce information about palm olein. The idea that people will spin an oil bottle, when it stops on one of the palm oil information column, they will win the information and if it stop on the gifts column, they will win a gift.

– Palm oil based products guess game

To increase the consumers knowledge on palm oil products various application and presence in different a wide product range, MPOC-Cairo gathered 122 palm-based products comprising of blended cooking oil, palm vegetable ghee, coffee creamers, chocolates, bakeries, confectioneries, snacks, semi fried frozen foods in a big box and invited participants to guess the total number of those items. Participants were given a coupon with 3 answer choices, and then all coupons were gathered in a box for a final lucky draw of 12 winners.  The whole idea is to allow the consumer to identify palm-based products and observe how big the range of those products in terms of application and number. “All of these products contain palm oil. Guess how many products and enter the lucky draw

– Photo Corner

The photo corner depicts a visual illustration with key messages and taglines on palm oil. This slot encouraged visitors to have photos with the celebrity chef while carrying cooking utensils on a branded backdrop.

 The effective incorporation of online tools into the core offline activity helped to connect with target audiences in very engaging ways. MPOC-Cairo seeks out to develop a deeper engagement with target audience by creating a platform where consumers can gather and socialize. These efforts are driving stronger consumer relationships. The additional benefit comes when they took their engagement a step further, through the so-called user-generated content (UGC) by sharing their status with their peers on social media channels. This endorsement is invaluable, not to mention it helps to continually release fresh, powerful content that boosts natural SEO rankings and reaches new audiences.

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