May 25, 2011, 4:44 PM

From farm to plate, with video

A new video marketing and educational push enables web shoppers to know the farmers who supply King Arthur Flour with its grain. The retailer, which this week added 32 videos to its e-commerce site, hopes the effort replicates the success of the company’s blog posts.

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King Arthur Flour Co. Inc., an e-retailer that sells baking ingredients and cooking products, dove deeply into online video this week with the addition of 32 educational videos to its site. The e-retailer says it hopes the video content will help customers get a sense of where King Arthur Flour’s U.S.-grown ingredients come from and demonstrate the relationship the company has with the farmers who grow the wheat used in its products.

King Arthur, No. 451 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says the video interviews, filmed over the course of one week last summer with wheat farmers in Kansas and Colorado who supply the company with grain, explore the issues facing contemporary American agriculture.

The videos appear under the “our flours” section of the retailer’s e-commerce site and are organized around four themes: Families Growing Wheat, the Life of a Farmer, Preserving the Land and the King Arthur Flour Connection with Farmers. Videos average about four minutes in length and are delivered via a video platform provided by Brightcove Inc.

The idea for the videos came from the e-retailer’s conversations with its growers. “We’ve been doing more education internally about where our wheat comes from and members of our team had met with millers to learn more about the process, and it struck us as a story that was really worth telling our customers,” says Allison Furbish, web media coordinator at King Arthur Flour.

Furbish says the videos are aligned with the employee-owned company’s mission to educate and inspire bakers and that this largely justified the marketing expense, which included a two-person team traveling to interview the farmers and then grouping and editing the film to create documentary-style videos.

“While we certainly will be measuring the reaction to these videos and hope to see a positive reaction, there’s not so much the feeling that we need the numbers to justify doing it. This is about educating our customers and anyone else interested in the story,” she says. She adds that customers have responded positively to the e-retailer’s previous educational efforts, such as blog posts on the company’s history and grain growing systems. “Telling these stories reinforces to our customers why they are our customers and provides more reason to people who aren’t our customers about why they might want to be our customers.”

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