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Brands go DIY

A light-hearted way to keep brands front of mind during the crisis

With most of the world locked inside the confines of their homes, restaurants and F&B brands are having a trickier time than most. Harry Eckersley of CSM Sport and Entertainment explores how brands are getting creative in reaching their consumer base right now.


That’s not through lack of demand. The desire to be reunited with one another is strong, with most of us in isolation craving the day where we are able to walk through the doors of our favourite eatery once again. But the harsh reality is that we could be a long way from that moment. So, in the meantime, how can we overcome those physical barriers that have emerged in the wake of Covid-19?

Well, a few savvy brands seem to have found the answer: handing the reins over to us with the provision of DIY meal kits, packed full of their ingredients and products.

London based burger chain, Patty & Bun, were the first to pivot to make-at-home kits, partnering with local butcher, HG Walter, to provide a quarantine patty box that helped soothe the UK capital’s cheeseburger craving. For £25 customers received four signature HG Walter beef patties, four brioche buns, a miniature squeezy bottle of Smokey P&B Mayo, cheese slices and homemade pickled and smokey onions.

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Pizza Pilgrims, the UK’s ever-popular Neapolitan pizzeria, similarly launched a DIY pizza making kit containing; two x Neapolitan 48-hour proved dough balls, marinara sauce, fior di latte cheese, olive oil, fresh basil and parmesan so you can whip up a homemade pizza in just one frying pan.

In France, Burger King didn’t go quite as far as delivering its ingredients to the doorstep, but they did let their followers in on the secret to making a proper Whopper at home. In one simple tweet, the French arm of the fast food behemoths provided a comprehensive list of ingredients you’d need to put one together. It went down so well (18,000 likes and 4,000 RT’s) that the brand has since followed it up with posters for fish sandwiches, steakhouse burgers and Big King burgers.

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And back in the UK, everyone’s favourite ice-cream purveyor, Magnum, teamed up with Deliveroo to create an ‘at-home’ version of the brand’s annual pop-up shop, The Pleasure Store. The ‘DIY Make My Magnum Kit’, which includes a Ruby Magnum multipack and a range of toppings, is available for delivery direct to your front door, replete with a how-to guide and a range of recipes to help you craft your ice-cream into a professional gelato. The best bit? It’s free!

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We love these ideas, all of which are a light-hearted way of keeping brands front of mind during our enforced period of separation and ensuring that we don’t learn to live without them. Not only that, it neatly taps into the home baking and home cooking craze that is providing households around the world with a much-needed escape from reality.

It’s also a great way to satisfy a legitimate craving, protect the ecosystem of suppliers and to join the conversation around Covid-19 without feeling forced or overly emotive. As Burger King’s Global CMO noted in a tweet, it helps ‘keep fans engaged and lift spirits a bit.’

Evidently, the trend is catching on. Honest Burgers has just launched ‘Honest At Home’ in partnership with Trussell Trust – picking winners at random to receive its DIY box in return for a donation to the charity; Le Swine is urging people to ‘Bring Home the Bacon’ with a DIY bacon butty kit; The Vurger Co., has got vegans covered with its Takeout Box for Two; La Mamma Mia is now providing a hefty survival kit full of Italian treats and dessert specialist Chin Chin has released a variety of starter kits to satisfy those out there with a sweet tooth.