click image to zoomFrontera/Crescent Fruit and VegetableLeft to right, Chris Eddy, general manager for Crescent Fruit & Vegetable, Lisa Hilton-Waters, general manager, Trevor Stuart, salesman and Keesha Burse, finance manager for Frontera Produce exhibited at the It's Time Texas summit in Austin June 24.Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce Ltd. and Crescent Fruit & Vegetable LLC took the opportunity to sponsor a grassroots effort to get Texans eating healthier through the Lone Star Grown program.
The companies sponsored a series of events, including the It’s Time Texas Summit, June 24-25 to promote Texas-grown produce to the public.
It’s Time Texas, a statewide partnership of individuals, institutions and companies pledging to create healthier communities in Texas, seemed a natural fit, said Brock Nemecek, a representative for the companies through Dallas-based DMA Solutions Inc., Dallas.
“Frontera and (Crescent Fruit brand) Moonlit were the only produce companies involved,” Nemecek said. “Given the group’s mission, aligning with produce growers is a perfect partnership.”
It’s Time Texas is a civil and social movement, Nemececk said, acting at the community level to help influence Texans to make healthier decisions as opposed to philanthropic or charitable causes.
“It’s a different approach to health and wellness,” he said. “They’re hoping this approach will have a better success rate than going at it as a charity.”
The group had its third annual meeting in Austin June 24-25 to form an action plan to take to communities across the state. Frontera Produce and Crescent Fruit were sponsors, as was San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Co.
For Frontera and Crescent Fruit, this was the start of the their new Lone Star Grown campaign, jointly developed to boost relationships with Texans, including consumers and retailers.
“We want to raise awareness that Frontera and Moonlit are growers of fresh produce in the state by growing and enriching their relationships with consumers, and proving they’re a valuable asset to Texas retailers,” Nemecek said.
The campaign includes live appearances, including distributing fruit at events like the Keep Austin Weird Festival’s 5K race on June 22.
“We’re there to gather information about consumers, which again will be valuable not only to the companies but also to retail partners,” Nemecek said.
Other events scheduled include Frontera Produce’s sponsorship of the Austin Chronicle’s 23rd Annual Hot Sauce Festival. Company representatives will be on hand with Frontera’s wide assortment of salsa ingredients, from chile peppers to mango and pineapple.
“We’re also planning tailgate parties state-wide, at both professional and collegiate sports events this fall,” he said. “We wanted to give consumers who are already passionate about those things — sports and food — ideas for incorporating fresh produce in different ways. We’re raising awareness of where those fresh products are grown, shipped or distributed by Texas companies.”
The campaign also includes media outreach, including trade and consumer media, bloggers, and promoting brands on social media. The companies sponsored a summer salsa promotion, giving away prize packs for consumers to customize recipes from the company’s executive chef.
The third part of the campaign includes cause marketing and philanthropy with commitments to donate to the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative. Frontera and Crescent Fruit donated to local schools in the past and will continue to donate as part of the campaign, Nemecek said.
“It makes perfect sense for the salad bar initiative to tie in as a solution for local officials to start spreading health and wellness messages at the local level,” he said. “We’ll hopefully get even more awareness through the It’s Time Texas program.”