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At the end of our first year, Arts & Letters Creative Co. walked us through the basics of building a killer comms plan. Then, they gave us a brand and a prompt and sent us off to try it for ourselves.

Our Ask: Make 2021 the "Summer of Jelly"

Digging In

We knew we needed to immerse ourselves in the category and understand its consumers before we could make a cultural moment out of fruit spreads, so we developed a research plan to help us get to the bottom of the jelly jar.


responses to our survey

A few
hours stalking the jelly aisle

of pages of secondary research

We found three things to be undeniably true:

1. Jelly is a fixture of American life

According to the National Peanut Board, the average American eats an estimated 3,000 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches in their lifetime.

To put that in perspective, if you stacked 3,000 PB&Js on top of each other, the result would be taller than the Statue of Liberty.


3. Smucker's is synonymous with jelly

Smucker's has been a pioneer in the category since 1897, and today they're stronger than ever, with a dominant 42% market share.

When you add in the fact that 9 out of 10 of the people we surveyed had eaten a Smucker's spread in the past, the result is clear—nobody is in better position to cash in on this jelly jamboree.

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2. Lockdown sent our PB&J love into overdrive 

When Covid-19 forced us all to hunker down in our homes, everyone quickly turned to their favorite D.I.Y. comfort food for a sense of normalcy.

Whether you were grabbing a quick snack between zoom calls or dodging another night of Doordash, the result was a 9.2% rise in jelly sales (and a 7.1% increase for our peanutty partner in crime).


So, if jelly sales are through the roof and Smucker's is at the top of the shopping list... What's the problem?

Our Observation

Everybody has it. That jar of jelly that's been sitting in the back of your fridge for who knows how long.

Every once in a while you'll notice it—maybe you're late for work and have just enough time to throw together a sandwich—but for the most part it just sits there. And sits there.

87% of our survey respondents had jam in their fridge 

70% only used their jam a couple times a month or less

Our Problem

If we don't do anything, summer will come and go and that jelly will still be sitting in the back of the fridge, collecting dust.

Who do we need to reach?

The "Starved for Adventure"—after a year of being cooped up inside, these people want to get out and make the most of their summer, whether that means a trip to the beach or a backyard barbecue. We want to connect with that sense of adventure to make sure Smucker's doesn't get left behind with the rest of their quarantine routines.

Within this target, we segmented our audience based on jelly usage to inform our messaging strategy.

The Fruit Forgetters

They go in and out of their fridge day in and day out and never look twice at their jam. Jelly is a left-behind outcast, stuck on the shelf. The only time it finds its way out is when a friend comes over and reminds them they have it.

The Joyous Jelly-Eaters

The Sometimes Spreaders

Housed front and center in their fridge, their jelly jar is a trusted friend they catch up with every morning over breakfast. Rarely does a day go by without slathering up a slice of toast or grabbing a spoonful straight from the jar.

They might have to dig past a carton of milk to get the jelly out, but they never forgot it was in there. For them, Jelly is either an occasional indulgence or late-for-work lifesaver.

Our Plan for the
Smucker's Summer of Jelly

To achieve reach and resonance with our audience, we developed an overarching creative strategy, defined the role of communications, mapped out the specific barriers in the way of solving our problem, identified the corresponding messaging tasks we need to accomplish, and proposed some tactics.

Our Strategy:

Set the jelly jar free for summer.

Role of Comms:

Showcase bright and adventurous new ways for jelly to be a part of your summer.

Barriers to Address

Barrier 1- Awareness

People don't think about jelly.

Messaging Task

Keep jelly at the top of people's minds and the front of their fridges.

Barrier 2- Interest

People don't know what to do with jelly beyond PB&Js and toast.

Messaging Task

Showcase exciting new ways to use jelly.

Barrier 3- Decision

There are tons of other great foods in the fridge.

Messaging Task

Build preference for Smucker's over non-jelly alternatives.

Barrier 4- Action

Jam is a very routine product—there's very little spontaneity behind its usage.

Messaging Task

Give people the confidence to use jelly in unique places, ways, and situations.

Our Idea

The Smuckers Summer Road Trip


To showcase all the unexpected ways jelly can sweeten your summer, we want to hit the road on a Smuckers Summer Road Trip.

By sending a branded food truck on a summer-long tour of popular vacation destinations, we can defy our audience's notions of where and how to eat jelly.

Jelly-glazed chicken wings? They're on the menu. PB&J French Toast? Got it. Strawberry Jelly Daiquiri's? You better believe it.

Where will we show up?

Beaches, national parks, concert venues, major sporting events...

And anywhere you might be lucky enough to catch us on a pit stop along the way,


How can we build hype and amplify our message?

Before hitting the road, we want to generate excitement with a combination of paid advertising, social media marketing, and sponsored summer giveaways.

Specific Media Tactics

  • OOH centered around vacation hotspots

  • Radio spots to reach travelers on the go

  • TV spots placed around family programming

  • "That's My Jam" sponsored Spotify playlist

  • Ultimate Picnic Basket social media giveaways

  • Vlog-style road trip videos on IG, FB, & Youtube

  • Unconventional DIY recipes on TikTok

  • Reposting community-generated content throughout the summer on all owned channels

How will we roll this out?


Thanks for reading! If you've made it this far, I'd say you deserve a PB&J. Or, you could get creative and whip up this Minted Strawberry Lemonade Mocktail. You've earned it. 

The Team: Kai Butler (ST), Karah Smith (ST), Ashanti Wright (ST), Myself (ST)

My Role: Designing survey and qualitative interview questions, pestering friends and family for photos of their fridges, writing the jelly-user personas, organizing comms architecture, and developing the deck flow.

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