Pioneer Woman headlines Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest
After a three-year hiatus, the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest is back – with a renewed emphasis on celebrating America’s home cooks and the stories and inspiration behind their creations.
In a break from the past, this year home cooks will submit their favorite recipes online and include the inspiration behind the recipe – the story of how it came to be, how it brings people together or how it has become a family tradition.
“We wanted to bring the focus of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest back to home kitchens to celebrate and emphasize the vital role baking plays in creating family memories,” says Joanna Hargus, senior marketing manager for Pillsbury. “The recipes still have center stage, but the stories behind the recipes will be considered as well.”
Since 1949 when the first Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest was held, home cooks would assemble in a giant ballroom to prepare their recipes.
“We felt there was opportunity to bring the Bake-Off Contest to more people – we’ve had the same format of a single day in a ballroom competition for quite some time,” says Irby. “We’re trying to reignite the love for brand Pillsbury. We think this new format will inspire people to move beyond just saying, ‘Hey, I can make this great product,’ to ‘Let’s start a new family tradition that could lead to a new cherished memory in my home.'”
The renewed focus on baking at home is closely aligned with Pillsbury’s purpose – “to help families make more homemade memories”– which is best expressed in its “Made at Home” campaign that began rolling out last week.
“What matters most – family values, traditions, memories – are made at home,” says Christa Bundt, marketing communications assistant manager for Pillsbury.
To generate excitement around the revival of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, the team has enlisted Food Network personality and author Ree Drummond, host of the network’s “Pioneer Woman,” who writes from her ranch in Oklahoma.
She’s an enormously popular author and television star – particularly with Pillsbury’s core consumers.
Drummond introduces the contest, in this video.
See her Rustic Pear and Almond Tart dessert, in this video.
“Over and over when we were in consumers’ homes [interviewing them], Ree was who our consumers mentioned as someone they could trust and provide inspiration,” says Ben Irby, business unit director for Pillsbury. “They align with her lifestyle and values. We feel it’s a perfect fit.”
This year’s Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest grand prize winner will win $50,000, a trip to New York for an appearance on Food Network’s hit show “The Kitchen,” a kitchen makeover from GE Appliances and a feature in Food Network Magazine.
As in past years, there also are prizes in several categories. This year’s Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest has four baking categories: Cozy Breakfasts, Appetizers for Any Party, Dinners with Heart, and No-Fuss Desserts.
Each of these category winners will be awarded a trip to New York for an appearance on The Kitchen, a feature in Food Network Magazine, a suite of GE Appliances and $5,000 cash.
Now through Nov. 10, entries can be submitted to the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest at BakeOff.com. The category winners will be announced in January, and the grand prize winner will be revealed on The Kitchen on Feb. 24, 2018.
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