Following successful spring television promotions, Fresh from Florida enters its 15th year of promoting the state’s fresh fruits and vegetables.
In April, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services sponsored a series of commercials promoting Fresh from Florida products airing in major Florida television markets.
The commercials were so successful that the division of marketing is considering running more this season in Florida and expanding to other areas of the U.S., said Dan Sleep, the agency’s senior analyst.
After viewing the commercials, consumers searching for Fresh from Florida recipes boosted visits to the agency’s website from 32,000 visits to 175,000, he said.
To be conducted in select markets outside The Sunshine State, the commercials would allow the Tallahassee-based agency to get its foot in the door and help it promote the state’s winter and spring produce, Sleep said.
Similar to last season, up to 52 retail chains from 25 countries are expected to participate in the Fresh from Florida campaign, which provides retail incentives to run advertisements featuring the Fresh from Florida logo.
The average store features the Fresh from Florida logo in 45 weekly store advertisements, running a cumulative 450,000 individual store ads, Sleep said.
This marketing year, the campaign expects 13,000 individual stores worldwide to carry the logo and promote Florida’s produce in their weekly store ads.
“The stores are putting more things on ad,” Sleep said. “We are looking at different components for different chains and considering unique ways to feature Fresh from Florida products, including more sampling, displays and supplemental media components.”
Up to 1,988 stores in Canada and 1,337 stores in other countries promoted Florida produce products during the 2012-13 season, Sleep said.
In Ireland, the agency is working with a supermarket chain as well as Denmark’s Nordic Fresh chain, which serves Scandinavian countries, Sleep said.
In Singapore, the agency offered a Fresh from Florida vacation contest with some chains.
In the campaigns, one chain promoted Florida juice while others focused on grapefruit and Tasti-Lee branded tomatoes, he said.
In the Caribbean, the agency works with Price Smart, a large hypermarket chain, and is working with others in Chile, Colombia and Peru to promote Florida juices and other commodities that can survive a long boat ride, Sleep said.
Florida’s produce marketing organization experienced a solid campaign last year, he said.
“We are seeing positive things from retailers like Publix, which features Fresh from Florida tags all over the place on everything they sell from Florida,” Sleep said. “They’ve done that on their own. No retailer takes the time and effort and spends that kind of money on produce signage to stick some place when there’s no sales increase or no value to it.
“We are finding a very positive result on the Fresh from Florida notoriety and brand awareness that has been created over the last decade.”
That brand sees 58% consumer awareness in Florida and 38% recognition outside of the state, surveys show.
Florida is investing $750,000 in the campaigns, similar to last year, Sleep said.