In England, Ireland and Australia, pancake day has been celebrated for centuries on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. This day is traditionally used to consume the last eggs, milk and fats before the fasting period. Six years ago, cooking appliances supplier Tefal started national pancake day in The Netherlands and since 2008, the main theme is children baking pancakes for the elderly. In collaboration with Koopmans, a company which produces instant baking mixes and ingredients, Tefal sends an all inclusive pancake-baking-package to the participating schools, consisting of frying pans, pancake mix, tablecloths, napkins and chef hats. This year, a record amount of over 375 schools participated in national pancake day.
In order to encourage the school’s participation, Tefal connects a promotion to the day. This year, participating schools could enroll for a trip to the Dutch amusement park de Efteling. Although the initiating companies try to surpass the number of participants each year, the initiative is not aimed at the masses. Most of the schools are not even enrolling for the prize, but just participate for the enjoyment and because of its social aspect. Pancake day is also picked up by bigger and broader audiences. More and more sports clubs, community houses and scouting groups apply to roll up their sleeves in the kitchen.
In 2012, care facilities could also apply for the first time for receiving the participating groups. Because the enthusiasm of the facilities was much larger than expected, not all of them are provided with pancake-baking children. Koopmans’s food branch itself will give an extra hand to make sure these seniors can still enjoy their pancakes.
National pancake day was started as a means to show the social engagement of the brand Tefal. Since 2010, Koopmans is a partner in the initiative. Cosyness and family are important values of the brands, therefore the activity very well connects to the DNA of both organizations. Groupe SEB, Tefal’s mother company, has an extensive sustainability program and for example also works together globally with Unicef. Pancake day’s goal is to magnify the theme behind it, and to ensure positive associations and an emotional brand experience.
Recently published research by Nielsen shows that 44% of socially-conscious consumers think that companies should undertake projects that benefit their local communities. With national pancake day, Tefal and Koopmans are contributing to Dutch society. Contact us if you would like to talk about how your organization can take corporate social engagement to the next level.