SNAP program needs a good story to tell - The Packer

SNAP program needs a good story to tell

06/21/2013 12:23:00 PM
Tom Karst

Other Republican representatives have put forward amendments that would compel participants to participate in a work activation program and eliminate the Agriculture Secretary’s authority to waive work requirements.

In badly need of a good story to tell, the SNAP program should create incentives for food stamp purchases of fresh produce.


One of the more engaging videos I’ve seen created by a produce company was the “Life of an Asparagus.”

The video, which snagged 22,000 views after four days in its initial music-accompanied version, is shot from the “point of view” of the asparagus, taken on a fast-motion trip from farm through the packinghouse process.

I recently visited with Shay Myers, general manager of Owyhee Produce in Nyssa, Ore., about the video. He said the video illustrates the work and processes in involved in getting the product from the farm to the point it is ready to be put on a truck.

“For a lot of consumers I think the mentality is that food comes from the grocery store,” he said. Even when consumers think of a farming operation, they think of a red barn, a tractor and a few cows. They don’t envision the harvest crews, the logistics and the packing house.

The firm is also producing similar “point of view” videos for onions, which will cover the journey of the onion from farm to fork. The onion adventure will be presented in several short videos.

Filming began on those videos began in August and September by Blake Rosencrantz of BBR Photo Design and marketing manager for Owyhee Produce.

The final segment of the onion videos will show a chef picking up the onions at the grocery store and using the onions in a recipe. That onion video will be released late summer or early fall, he said.

I asked Myers about how he measured the he return on investment for this type of social media outreach. “Obviously we want to see video views and people come to our website,” he said.

Myers said the firm’s onions are sold across the U.S., so the internal debate on who should be the target audience isn’t easy.

“We have the challenge of “Who are we really marketing to?,’” he said. Is it the consumer or is it the wholesaler or retailer

Myers believes if the firm creates additional value for the consumer, that will create additional value for the retailer. “That’s our goal.”

Rosencrantz said the “life of” videos offer consumers education about the commodity.

As multimedia and social marketing efforts are escalating I would encourage all marketing managers in the produce industry to join The Packer’s Market. The site allows users to upload youtube videos and get reactions from the trade. That audience may be more important, in the end, than consumers who view the video on the web.

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