BusinessDay

Family bonding: The Devon King’s food experience

Elizabeth and Chikodinaka Moemeka had a special mother-daughter relationship that was adored and envied by all.

And it all started with their love for cooking. They often went together to the market to buy ingredients and spent hours in the kitchen discussing recipes and bonding over the fragrance of soups and spices.

However, the vicissitudes of life soon add a strain on that bond as Chikodinaka grew older. She began to stay farther away from the kitchen and spend more time on her phone and with her friends.

But Elizabeth had always wanted to reconnect with her daughter and strengthen that relationship but the effort had been met with little success as it continued to push her further away from Chikodinaka.

Elizabeth had lost all hope until she stumbled on a TV cooking show tagged “Celebrating Family Ties” by Devon King’s cooking oil, a brand of PZ Wilmar.

According to PZ Wilmar, the show follows the improved value the company has added to Devon King’s oil as it is now locally produced in Nigeria.

Devon King’s cooking oil is fresher than ever before, more affordable and comes in a wide range of pack sizes so that no matter what one’s need is, you have options to choose from.

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“Devon King’s cooking oil is the quality alternative to adulterated (loose) and imported oil and it offers the best value for money,” the company says.

The show, the second season of King’s Dorm which took place in December 2021 is aimed at promoting family bonding moments and also showcasing Nigerian dishes in a new and unique way.

Speaking at a press conference held last year, Chioma Mbanugo, head of marketing at PZ Wilmar said the show was organized to bring families together during the Christmas season and also to create memorable moments with family and friends.

“This event has been organized for our consumers, in the spirit of the season to come celebrate with their loved ones and create fun memories they can carry on for a lifetime,” Mbanugo said.

She adds, “Christmas really brings us more opportunity to bond with family members and that is the Brand’s goal.”

Similarly, Oluwatoyin Popoola-Dania, the category and brand manager for PZ Wilmar, expressed excitement at the prospects of the show, taking into great consideration the importance of family bonding and the theme of this season, which seeks to inspire togetherness and joyful moments.

According to her, “While the first season of King’s Dorm was designed to take consumers on an adventurous food journey using popular Nigerian Chefs to teach them how to make regular meals in a more unique way, season two was pegged with a more interesting twist.”

The call for entry to the show ran through October last year. Interested families related by blood or association participated in the competition by recording a one-minute video, telling the company about moments that bring them and their loved ones together featuring Devon King’s 2 litre cooking oil and at least a sachet of Devon King’s cooking margarine in it. They then posted it on their social media platforms, tagging @devonkingsng and using the #DevonKingsDorm hashtag.

From the hundreds of entries received, 12 families were randomly selected to participate in the competition and Nollywood actress, Oluwatoyin Abraham Ajeyemi and celebrity chef, Miyonse Amosu were the official host and celebrity judge respectively, of the family cooking game show.

The families went through different stages of the competition and at the end, Elizabeth and her daughter Chikodinaka emerged the overall winner. They were rewarded with the grand prize of a million naira as well as a year’s worth of supply of Devon King’s products.

“I was sceptical at first to enter the competition but after much persuasion from my family and friends, I decided to give it a try with my daughter. I did not even believe in the competition till we were placed in the kitchen,” Elizabeth Moemeka said.

She further said that she was glad to have entered the competition as it brought her and her daughter together, and made their bond stronger than before.

Likewise, Aminat Bello, one of the participants noted that she entered the competition with her sisters, who are twins to deepen their bond.

“Only two of us like to cook while the other only eats, which makes her miss out on the moments we spend in the kitchen. But this show has helped all of us to enjoy cooking together. Now, we are closer than ever,” she added.

Popoola-Dania said that the families demonstrated teamwork, commitment and showed people some bonding moments.“They were truly a delight to watch,” she said.

Spending time together is one of the greatest gifts families can give to one another. It strengthens family bonds, creates a significant impact on one’s life, keeps the family united, boosts up the confidence of a person, creates lifelong memories, improves social skills and connection with family promotes happiness.

But the reality today is that it has become difficult to share family moments as most people are busy with work, school, kids’ activities, and other responsibilities which gulps a huge chunk of the time they should be spending with their families.

Experts say the family bond becomes weak when members do not spend enough time together. It also contributes to negative youth development, poor family fitness and lack of family communication and trust. So, to avoid these, spending time is very important and one of the ways to achieve that is cooking together.

Cooking does not only have health benefits such as balanced meals, it also gives families a time to share, bond and work together.

Michael Pollan, an American author and journalist best known for works that explore the socio-cultural impacts of food said: “Food is not just fuel. Food is about family, food is about community, food is about identity. And we nourish all those things when we eat well.”

Furthermore, EatLove for Professionals notes that cooking together is a great opportunity to come together and build relationships.

“If you’re looking for meaningful things to do together, try cooking a meal together. Cooking might seem like a trivial task, but it can help teach your kids meaningful skills and allow you to connect as a family,” It said.

Apart from the cooking show, Devon King’s also introduced the King’s Fest which brought Nigerians together to celebrate the Yuletide in unique fashion during December.

It rewarded its consumers through a social media challenge tagged ‘Vibe with Devon King’s’. The challenge encouraged the public to showcase their happy moments with family and friends, while infusing the value and taste benefits of using Devon King’s. Participants were rewarded weekly during the period of the campaign.

“We are not really chefs and since this is quick competition, our edge is our togetherness and the love we have for each other,” Michael Egonu, one of the participants said.

Samuel Olabode Akinrimisi, the category manager, HPZ Ltd, who emphasized the importance of joyful moments and family togetherness, said that HPZ is committed to making moments of togetherness worthwhile with provision of quality products that makes joyful moments memorable.

In the latest edition of the cooking show, the Olaniyi family emerged as the first runner up, the Laupek family as the 2nd runner up and the Lawal family as the third runner up.

Other contestants were not left out as they all went home with amazing prices and gifts from Devon King’s.

Devon King’s has been in existence for over five decades and has established itself as a brand that makes bonding moments more fun and memorable hence making consumers seek moments of togetherness more often.

Some of the company’s products within the Devon King’s Brand include: Cooking Oil, Cooking Margarine and Seasoning which are available in retail outlets across Nigeria.

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