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‘Talking’ jar brings innovation to traditional category

Francesco Rinaldi pasta sauce brings its brand icon, Mrs. Rinaldi, to life with an augmented reality label that enables the company to engage a new generation of consumers.

The vivacious Mrs. Rinaldi, speaking in her charming Italian accent, is featured in three separate messages.
The vivacious Mrs. Rinaldi, speaking in her charming Italian accent, is featured in three separate messages.

Francesco Rinaldi pasta sauce has debuted an augmented reality app called Francesco Rinaldi AR APP that enables the brand’s icon, Mrs. Rinaldi, to speak directly with a shopper from the jar. According to the company, the process is simple: Download the app via Apple Store or Google Apps, point the phone at the picture of Mrs. Rinaldi on a Francesco Rinaldi label, and watch her, in a buoyant voice, come to life with an entertaining and engaging product message.

“The iconic Mrs. Rinaldi has graced the Francesco Rinaldi label for nearly 40 years and now at long last she speaks!” says Mary DeMarco, Creative & Branding Director of LiDestri Food & Drink, producers of Francesco Rinaldi pasta sauces. “And through augmented reality, we are looking forward and focusing on technology, all the while staying true to our traditional pasta sauce recipes and Italian culture.”

According to DeMarco, the AR technology was made-to-order for Francesco Rinaldi, thanks to the iconic label featuring Mrs. Rinaldi. “She has always been an easily-identifiable and strong symbol for the brand,” she says. “And now, thanks to this new app, we can hear and see her come alive.”

Despite this recent nod to technology, the company says that Francesco Rinaldi’s traditions are the heart and soul of the brand. Their pasta sauce originated from a family recipe that was handed down for many generations, and its unique spice blend has remained unchanged for nearly 40 years.

“The appenables us to reach a new generation of pasta sauce lovers by being innovative and disrupting tradition a little,” says DeMarco. “And yet by featuring Mrs. Rinaldi, who shows a whole lot of personality by the way, the brand is embracing its heritage of hard work, integrity and culture.”

The vivacious Mrs. Rinaldi, speaking in her charming Italian accent, is featured in three separate messages, including the brand’s creamy Alfredo sauces, their new line of organic pasta sauces, and the brand’s sustainable packaging called the Living Jar. Visual promotions will be in some stores in December where Francesco Rinaldi brands are sold.

A very important part of the brand’s story is the Living Jar, a substitute to glass packaging that is lightweight, BPA-free, and shatterproof and has a significantlysmaller eco-footprint than its glass counterpart. Says the company, the brand’s Living Jar and Francesco Rinaldi AR APP are examples of grocery shopping becoming a more thoughtful and engaging experience. Says DeMarco, “If you can bring the label on a jar of sauce to life with your smart phone, who knows what’s next?”

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