OMAHA, NEB. — ConAgra Foods Inc., processor of the Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National and Marie Callender’s brands, just to mention a few, was awarded Gold — the top honor — from the Advertising Research Foundation David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising Research in New York for its Shopper Seasons research and activation. The research won in the Shopper Marketing category.

Named after advertising legend David Ogilvy, the ARF David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising Research honor extraordinary and/or creative uses of research in the advertising development processes of research firms, advertising agencies, and advertisers. The winning campaigns provide a keen understanding of how research can be used to create powerful, profitable advertising campaigns.

ConAgra Foods’ Shopper Seasons focuses on six seasons — Post-Holiday, Spring, Summer, Back to School, October Fling and Holiday — consumers have identified as having unique emotional and practical needs for their families. Stemming from research that showed 68% of moms feel marketers don’t understand their needs, ConAgra held one-on-one interviews and focus groups with a range of moms who encapsulate the brands’ core consumers.

“We found that the same six seasons exist for moms across the country, but the emotions, needs and desires may vary,” said Danica Konetski, senior director of Shopper Insights for ConAgra Foods. “For example, Back To School season may be a relief for pre-school moms and more stressful for elementary moms — by uncovering the emotional connections, we can find those ways in which brands.... are most relevant to each mom.”

Using the research and insights, ConAgra Foods focused on the six seasons to build unique campaigns for its retail partners — grocery stores and other food outlets. Shopper Marketing programs focused on the Shopper Seasons have shown an average return-on-investment that is 30%higher than other ConAgra Foods Shopper Marketing programs.

“We’ve seen results in numbers, but we’ve also seen less quantifiable results from Shopper Seasons, including relationship building with our retail customers,” Ms. Konetski said. “Seasons has allowed us a seat at the table for more strategic, collaborative planning and opened up deeper sharing of insights and strategies.”