Digital Food & Beverage 2020

July 20 - 22, 2020

Hilton Austin, TX

Content Marketing Is Helping HelloFresh Create a Culture of Innovation

Brought to you by WBR Insights



We're going to avoid any tired cliches in this article about the magnificence of written content - but it's safe to say that content marketing is still a powerful force in the digital business world.

According to research by HubSpot, more than half of digital marketers name content creation - specifically blog posts - as their number one strategic priority. Ten percent of blog posts are compounding, meaning they generate exponentially more traffic as time goes on. Quantity matters as well - companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month earn almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies which publish four or fewer monthly posts.

Meal box retailer HelloFresh has long been a forward thinker in the food and beverage industry, and now it's using content marketing to help promote a culture of innovation.

HelloFresh

The core of this strategy is a bespoke blog dedicated to reporting on the various technology-based innovations and related goings on behind the scenes at HelloFresh. The Medium-powered blog is named HelloTech, and reports on everything from celebrating diversity in STEM subjects to innovative business practices such as Agile.

One of the latest happenings which has been reported in HelloTech concerns HelloFresh's annual innovation hackathon.

Now in its second year, the HelloFresh hackathon invites staff from across the organization to come up with new ideas which will help HelloFresh maintain its reputation as a serious disruptor in the food and beverage industry - a reputation which began when the company first brought the concept of food boxes to the masses.

The Hackathon attracted more than 70 employees from diverse sections of the business, including engineers, marketers, data scientists, and product managers. The participants were formed into eleven teams and given just three days to bring a concept from ideation to a fully-realized working prototype.

"Fueled by pizza, coffee, creativity, and a desire to make a difference, the hackathon teams worked late into the nights, only to start bright and early each following morning," said Global Corporate Communications Staffer, Saskia Leisewitz in the HelloTech blog. "By the third day, projects were taking shape and final touches were being added to code, presentations and prototypes. A tired but extremely satisfied group of participants gathered together for the company-wide presentations at the end of day three."

The only restrictions the participants were given was their imagination, and four broad categories:

  • Growth: Projects that help HelloFresh find, inspire, and acquire new customers
  • Retention: Projects that improve the customer experience and keep them buying more boxes over time
  • Supply Chain Management: Projects to improve our operational efficiency and reduce costs
  • Innovation: New, unique, off-the-wall ideas on where we can expand our business

Clearly, the fourth category opens the potential for practically anything the participants could conceive of, meaning HelloFresh was intent on placing as few restrictions on the process as possible. Extra points would be awarded to any teams which were able to include the innovative application of data in their prototype.

Hackathon Results

Nothing drives innovation like a little healthy competition, and the Hackathon was no exception. The tricky task of judgement fell to CEO and Cofounder of HelloFresh Dominik Richter, who had the unenviable task of assigning points and declaring the overall winner.

"Each winning team received a voucher of 200 Euros and a certificate of appreciation," continued Leisewitz. "For the first time in HelloTech Hackathon History, a golden ticket was awarded to the team presenting the best (and most actionable) project. The winners of the golden ticket won the promise of two undisturbed weeks to see their idea become reality in production code. Some teams were also awarded the Audience Choice Award, which was judged by the volume of crowd cheers."

Unfortunately, HelloFresh is keeping its cards close to its chest when it comes to the exact nature of the innovations which have earned the right to be put into action, but no doubt the HelloTech blog will be the place to watch for any news on the matter.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing is a fantastic way to give people a look inside your business and see what goes on behind the scenes. By reporting on subjects such as the HelloFresh hackathon, the company helps promote a culture of innovation which can permeate the whole organization.


You can hear HelloFresh's Associate Director of Product Innovation for the US, Max Dresse speak at Digital Food and Beverage 2019, taking place in July at the Hyatt Regency Austin, TX.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.