Metro makes dinner plans with Jessica Mulroney

Retailer partners with the Mulroneys in latest content marketing initiative

While a store’s proximity to their home or workplace is still a key factor in determining where Canadians shop for groceries, Metro is increasingly relying on content marketing to build both brand equity and customer loyalty.

Blogger and famous spouse Jessica Mulroney (pictured) is the face of the company’s newest content marketing program, an Ontario-only initiative called “The Mulroney Meal Plan.” Working with Metro’s registered dietician Cara Rosenbloom, Mulroney–a regular shopper at a midtown Toronto Metro store–is chronicling her efforts to create healthy meal solutions for her family.

Nancy Modrcin, senior director of marketing for Metro Ontario, says the grocery chain originally pursued a partnership with Jessica’s husband Ben Mulroney, host of CTV’s entertainment news show etalk and former Canadian Idol host, but changed direction when it discovered his wife’s commitment to healthy eating.

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“We reached out to him to talk about a potential partnership, but as we spoke with Ben and Jessica, we started seeing that was really passionate about wanting to provide her family with healthy food options," said Modrcin. “We were so impressed by how much she wanted to set a positive example for her family.”

Mulroney’s efforts are being chronicled in a series of blog posts on as well as on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. The program is promoting Metro’s fresh food offerings, including local produce, bakery, meat and seafood. “Anything that’s in the perimeter of the store is going to be a focus,” says Modrcin.

Mulroney will also be featured in three segments on the daytime talk show Cityline in which she will outline how Metro is helping her accomplish her healthy eating objectives.

The “Mulroney Meal Plan” is an extension of Metro’s My Healthy Plate initiative, which launched in 2013 as a way to help customers identify healthy and affordable eating choices.

Metro also plans to distribute content to just under 100,000 customers who have signed up for its weekly e-newsletter.

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The program is part of a broader content play for Metro that also includes recently announced partnerships with both Chatelaine and Flare magazines.

The retailer has made what Modrcin describes a “pretty big commitment” to content management as it seeks to differentiate itself in a highly competitive industry.

“Content marketing is just a great way to develop long-term relationships with customers,” she says. “There are so many tools at our disposal, but it’s just really all about the story you’re trying to tell and making sure it’s heard by the right audience. It’s a more engaging way to interact with an audience.”

She says that Metro is “taking a little bit of a lead” in the content marketing space, as it looks to build upon traditional tactics aimed at driving sales, such as coupon offers or e-flyers.

“That content literally exists to drive traffic to our stores and generate sales over the short-term,” says Modrcin. “There may not be a short-term impact on sales, but it’s things like blogs and videos and articles that are more likely to have a long-term impact on brand equity and customer loyalty.

“One is all about driving sales and the other is all about driving a really strong customer relationship,” “That’s always been a priority for Metro, and will continue to be.”

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