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Metro trades in aisles for runways

Partners with Flare magazine and sponsors Fashion Week in Toronto

Metro Ontario is bringing fashion and food together in its latest marketing campaign.

The retailer has partnered with fashion magazine Flare on an initiative called "Cooking with Flare in Partnership with Metro."

In six issues over the course of the next year, Flare editors will work with a designer, fashion blogger or style-minded chef to create a recipe inspired by runway trends, with an emphasis on Metro’s local foods and seasonal produce.

“There’s something very personal about how a person dresses and how they eat, or where they choose to shop for food,” Nancy Modrcin, senior director of marketing for Metro Ontario, told Canadian Grocer. “In both cases, it’s all about personal taste.”

The campaign debuts in May with recipes from Toronto designers Sid Neigum and Chloé Gordon (pictured). Content includes full-page editorial in Flare’s print, tablet and mobile editions, as well as 90-second videos.

“We’ll be integrating editorial content in the Metro e-newsletter and are in the process of developing some video content that will appear on both sites,” said Modrcin. “And we’ll be leveraging the tastemakers and their recipes at events where it makes sense.”

To help consumers make the connection between food and fashion, Metro is the first and only grocery sponsor of World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto. Customized content began appearing on Metro’s website a few weeks ago, including an interview with Flare’s editor-in-chief Cameron Williamson about how to eat healthy during the hectic week, which wraps up Friday.

gives us a venue to showcase the Metro brand to a totally new audience,” explained Modrcin. “And we have plans for promotion and activation leading up to the fall fashion week to capitalize on the synergy between fall fashion and the fall harvest.”

Less than a month ago Metro announced another multi-platform campaign with Chatelaine magazine. “Kitchen apprentice” focuses on a young blogger developing her culinary skills under the tutelage of the magazine’s food director.

While both Chatelaine and Flare are owned by Rogers Publishing (which also owns Canadian Grocer), Modrcin said Metro's partnerships with both magazines are quite different.

“With Chatelaine, it’s all about food. It’s what we know and do best,” she said. Working with Flare, on the other hand, gives Metro access to a younger customer base.

“We’re taking a very different approach with this campaign,” Modrcin said. “Rather than just running a standard brand ad, we’re really focused on joint content development because we think it’s just a better way to engage our shoppers.”

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