20 August, 2019

Little Shop, teaching children about food

Last month we launched a new range of mini collectables; a Little Shop for little people! Our Events Marketing Manager Claire is the project lead. She’s been with M&S for 18 months having joined our Digital Marketing team, before moving teams to work on our Little Shop initiative.

Claire explains how the goal of Little Shop is to make for an easy, educational experience for kids, “It’s all about our little ones learning a little bit more about food in a fun and playful way.”

For every £20 spent in one of our food halls our customers receive a free collectable from the Little Shop. Little Shop aligns with our business strategy to grow our appeal to families and be more relevant, more often, to more customers.

One of Claire’s key roles was overseeing the artwork design for the collectables. This included every item, from tiny Chicken Tikka Masalas, to miniature British Large Eggs and our famous Colin the Caterpillar cake! Each of the 25 items to collect in the range have an exciting and sustainable story.

We all love our food, but many of us don’t know where the food on our plates came from or any of its key facts. The Little Shop website gives children the opportunity to learn about this through play, including how their food gets from field to fork and key facts about each product. There are also games to print out at home such as a wordfind, memory game, colouring in, and shopping list.

“Little Shop allowed us to showcase our fantastic sustainability credentials, including our clever Beef traceability scheme, which means we can trace all beef, such as in Our Best Ever steak pie, back to the farm it came from”, says Claire.

All the products in the Little Shop showcase the fantastic journeys of our product. They build upon our Plan A sustainability promises by emphasising how M&S are proud to source our products from ethical and environmentally responsible suppliers.

“For example, our Tuna Steak ensures that we play our role in protecting marine environments by following a special sustainable fishing policy,” Claire said.

Claire aims to encourage children to care for our planet through recycling and minimising waste. Little Shop has set up donation points in store, and has 65 SWAP events where customers can attend and trade their collectables to complete their Little Shop set.

Marketing and advertising were at the core of the Little Shop campaign. Claire played a pivotal role in Little Shop messaging, making sure it was not only fun and engaging, but also consistent across all customer touchpoints. Regardless of where a customer engages with M&S about Little Shop, (online, instore, social media) they receive the same key messages.

We hope you are as excited about Little Shop as we are!

Inside M&S