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We received £24,000 funding from Defra’s Great British Food programme to promote the Chilterns as a Food and Drink destination and increase tourism. The aim of the project was to celebrate and promote the rapidly expanding Chilterns food and drink offer, developing appealing new trails, events and marketing resources to put the spotlight on Chilterns food and drink, making it an integral part of the area’s tourism offer. The project capitalised on the Chilterns as a four-season destination, giving potential visitors more reasons to travel in the shoulder months and out of season months.
The Chilterns food and drink sector has seen great change in the last few years with many new food and drink producers, festivals and eateries being established. There have been notable developments including many new vineyards and micro-breweries offering tours, tastings and events. Despite all this product development, awareness of the Chilterns food and drink offer has been low because these producers and retailers are too busy either making and/or selling their products.
The project generated a lot of business collaboration and created branding and promotional content that is being widely used by the Food and Drink and tourism sector. There was national press coverage and a lot of social media and blogging exposure.
The project took was delivered over a 4 month period, from December 2016 to March 2017.
The project did the following:
A ‘Taste of the Chilterns’ logo and branding was developed as part of the new-look Food and Drink site and was used throughout this campaign. We are especially pleased that businesses are now using the branding in their marketing communications.
Chilterns Conservation Board
Quote from project manager
“The project has exceeded our expectations and the outcomes we set initially. It has generated national press coverage, generated new contacts, collaborations and volunteers. We feel the real gains made are the gradual building of awareness of the Chilterns as a Food and Drink destination, the change in perceptions, the interest which has been created and which is leading to many more things – we are now regularly getting press enquiries and interest from businesses wanting to get involved.” Annette Venters, Chilterns Conservation Board
Quote from participant
“A very important point for your review is that we have seen a ‘halo’ effect. The event enabled us to have ’something to talk about’ and engage customers new and old. We had a very busy Easter as a result. Also we had a couple in this morning who had found us on the visit Chilterns website and we were also thrilled to see the 10 best pub walks in the Chilterns in the Telegraph particularly as it featured one of our closest pubs. Again we shared this on our social media platforms” Jenny Watson, Malt the Brewery (28.4.2017)
Key search words: Food and Drink, tourism, business collaborations, Festival, Marketing.
Photo Credits: Chilterns AONB / Chilterns Conservation Board