Spreading holiday cheer and regional cuisine through AdWords

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | 12:49 PM

[Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog.]

When we here in the U.S. think of Thanksgiving, many of us think of our favorite foods: perhaps a fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie, a sweet glazed ham or a succulent turkey. But thanks to Charlie Hohorst III of Lafayette, La., tens of thousands of Americans dream instead of a turkey... stuffed with a duck... stuffed with a chicken.

For the past 15 years, Hohorst has run food shopping site Cajun Grocer, which specializes in more than 1,000 different authentic Louisianan foodstuffs and delicacies. The “turducken”—a Cajun dish consisting of a de-boned turkey filled with duck, chicken and stuffing—is “the bread and butter” of his business, says Hohorst. He can attest to their growing popularity as he ships an ever-increasing number of turduckens to cities all over the country, from Los Angeles to Boston.

Cajun Grocer’s business has grown hand-in-hand with the use of Google AdWords. Before starting AdWords campaigns in 2002, sales were fueled primarily by word of mouth, and reaching the right audience at an affordable price was a challenge. “With a specialty product like a turducken,” says Hohorst, “who do you target and how do you target them?” Using AdWords, Cajun Grocer can show off their products alongside relevant searches on Google and measure every penny spent on advertising.

Cajun Grocer’s ad for “turducken” searches, using AdWords Product Extensions.

The process of hand-crafting all eight types of turducken for the Thanksgiving rush starts in April and continues through packing and last-minute shipping as late as November 23.

Aside from their role in spreading the culinary influence of his native Louisiana, what Hohorst really loves about turduckens is that, much like the Thanksgiving holiday itself, they give people a reason to come together. “They’re a gathering item. Many people have heard of them, and when someone they know has one, it can bring in 10 or even 20 people.”

Posted by Jim Prosser, Communications Manager