Our Public Relations Group created an educational food program, the Kitchen|Fields Table Tour, in 2015 for the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. The table tour promoted the impact of soybeans on our everyday meals by educating Arkansas consumers about soy foods and soy-fed protein such as pork, beef and chicken. Our strategy was to provide facts that connect featured dishes to the Arkansas soybean industry in a restaurant setting. We wanted to help Arkansas consumers connect soy consumption and soybean farmer support. And we wanted to change the way Arkansans think about the soybean industry, Arkansas’s top row crop.
In 2015, the Kitchen|Fields Table Tour was a partnership with four locally-owned restaurants located in key markets of the state. Each restaurant’s head chef featured and promoted a soybean-inspired dish for one quarter of the year and we promoted the schedule of featured soy dishes as a dinner tour. We launched the KFTT with an invitation-only dinner event that featured special guest speakers and an exclusive guest list of Arkansas-based food writers and food-focused influencers, including a recent finalist in the prestigious James Beard Award competition.
The Kitchen|Fields Table Tour wrapped up its first year with exposure to more than 3 million Arkansans through paid and earned media coverage.
In year two, the program has expanded to include 12 restaurants in each region of the state and making the KFTT the centerpiece of Arkansas Soybean Month. Chefs, like Matt McClure of The Hive, have helped us teach Arkansans about the importance of our largest industry, agriculture. We continue to innovate and grow this program in 2017, see a full list of partners and feature dishes at the ASPB’s website.