Produce gets fun for kids - The Packer

Produce gets fun for kids

08/05/2011 02:55:00 PM
Amelia Freidline

The National Mango Board is also focusing on moms after discovering that, while more and more kids are falling in love with mangoes, many parents are intimidated by the unfamiliar fruit.

“Can you imagine if somebody said they don’t know how to cut a watermelon or an apple?” said Wendy McManus, marketing director of the Orlando-based organization.

“We’d think that’s crazy because we grew up with them,” McManus said.

“Teaching moms how to ripen and cut up mangoes is where the real movement is for us.”

Power of social media

Like most industry groups, the mango board is also harnessing social media to spread its message.

While visiting six “underdeveloped” Hometown grocery markets this summer, from St. Louis to Hartford., Conn., the board invited more than a dozen local mom bloggers at each stop to a mango lunch and kid-friendly cooking demonstration.

“The power bloggers get once they build up their audience and the level of trust with their reader is much higher than the level of trust when you read a magazine or newspaper,” McManus said.

“People really feel that connection, the sense that this blogger is like me.”

Tony Freytag, national marketing director for Crunch Pak, Cashmere, Wash., said introducing his company and its apple slices to bloggers has been a phenomenal success.

“It’s a wonderful way to get the word out that we have healthy snacks for families,” Freytag said.

Teens and tweens are among Stemilt Growers’ Facebook friends, said Roger Pepperl, marketing director of the Wenatchee, Wash., company.

“We talk about new recipes and what’s happening in the orchard, whether it’s pictures of the fruit being picked, a pair of kestrel falcons scaring the birds away or a bin of beautiful fresh apricots,” Pepperl said.

“A few people wrote in to say they couldn’t wait to taste them,” he said.

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