Lori Taylor says there’s a produce mom in every woman. And, as the “official” Produce Mom, she’s in the position to know.
Since creating the official blog of the Indianapolis-based Indianapolis Fruit Co. at the beginning of the year, Taylor has seen interest soar and accolades pour in.
“It’s really taken off and has become a vital part of Indianapolis Fruit Co.,” she said.
“No one who is a distributor is currently marketing to the consumer like we are — at least not yet.”
Taylor, who’s been with the company seven years and serves as its consumer marketing manager as well as the Produce Mom blogger, said her produce background provides her an advantage to clicking with consumers, especially moms.
“Everyone can identify with the produce mom,” she said.
“I always say I’m an ordinary mom like you and that I’m the consumer that our company is trying to market our products to, but my advantage is that I have the knowledge base other people don’t have. That really resonates with moms.”
Now the Produce Mom plans to enter the retail market.
Taylor said she worked hard on her retail program showcased at The Packer’s Midwest Produce Show August 13-15 in Chicago. The Produce Mom retail program is a marketing tool that Indianapolis Fruit Co. has created to help educate consumers.
The plan is seasonably flexible and adaptable to any store’s weekly ads, Taylor said. Possible plans for the in-store program include “Produce Mom Pick of the Week,” food demos, signage, recipes, links to her blog or even retail merchandise, such as reusable bags or kitchen tools with the Produce Mom logo.
Whatever fruits or vegetables are featured as a part of the program must meet Taylor’s four criteria. The item must be delicious, nutritious, convenient and affordable.
“As a mom, those are all the things I look for too. I’m a produce industry professional, yet I’m also a consumer,” she said.
It’s that “I’m just like you” mentality that keeps her many blog, Facebook and Twitter followers interested in this self-described produce personality.
Two months into the blog, the Produce Mom collaborated with Jazz apples for a social media-based marketing promotion, “Jazz Up Your Life,” and sales skyrocketed. Indianapolis Fruit Co.’s sales of Jazz apples went up 67% compared to March-April 2011 and nationwide sales jumped 50%, Taylor said.
She said that stateside stats, credited to the Produce Mom, were through the roof.
“Sales were up more than 200% in Indiana in comparison to the previous year. At that moment we knew the Produce Mom was a viable marketing tool,” she said.
Social media is one of the new marketing avenues needed to reach consumers, especially the younger generation, said Danny Corsaro, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Indianapolis Fruit Co. “(That’s why) we’re really excited about what she’s been able to do with the Produce Mom.
“You have to start educating people about healthy eating at an early age and kids are the perfect target market because they are curious and will try new things,” he said.
“We feel Produce Mom is a good venue to start explaining good eating habits, good nutrition and make it interesting and fun.”