Despite a slow start caused by late winter freezes, Florida growers shipped a record volume of corn this May.

According to the Florida Sweet Corn Exchange, shipments were up more than 27% from average volumes the past two Mays.

Promotion campaigns help boost Florida corn shipmentsThe Maitland-based exchange attributes the larger sales to investment in consumer public relations and advertising.

Development of the Sunshine Sweet brand gave retailers consistent quality corn throughout the spring and the group’s merchandising programs helped grower-shippers work promotions with retail customers, according to a news release.

“The fancy grade seed varieties that growers have selected for the Sunshine Sweet brand and the quality assurances that handlers have implemented have provided buyers with an easily identifiable source for great tasting spring corn,” Mike Aerts, director of the marketing and membership division for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Maitland, said in the release. “Now we are working to make that brand more visible to consumers.”

To date, the campaigns reached more than 200 million consumers, according to the release.

The campaigns focused on eating outside of the traditional summer push.

The campaigns included a Pinterest contest and input from food bloggers.

The efforts helped increase visits to the site by more than 2000% from the previous year, according to the release.