But in just two years it’s become a brand consumers also see at retail via the Produce Mom Picks program. And it’s the driving force behind Find Your Favorite, which promotes fruit and vegetable consumption in schools.
Lori Taylor, 32, is the Produce Mom — and consumer marketing manager for Indianapolis Fruit Co.
Find Your Favorite, launched in public schools last year, is on the rise as the Indianapolis Colts join the program. In the program, athletes, artists, policemen or firefighters appear in photos, videos or in person naming a favorite fruit or vegetable. WNBA basketball star Tamika Catchings, for example, is a pineapple hero; and race car driver Graham Rahal is a kiwifruit hero.
“Her vision for the program fits perfectly with our Play 60 campaign encouraging youth to live active and healthy lives,” said Stephanie Pemberton, the Colts’ senior director of marketing.
Taylor has worked eight years for Indianapolis Fruit Co. She started as a saleswoman for the distributor, becoming marketing manager about two years ago, just before the Produce Mom launched. She had no formal marketing background.
“I sold myself as a viable candidate by saying, ‘I am the target consumer, the person everyone wants to sell their product to,’” she said.
“I was 30 with two young children, living on a budget. I’m mindful of the foods and products I put in my cart and know what messaging gets me to open up my pocketbook.”
At the time Indianapolis Fruit Co. marketing was largely business to business, which made sense for a distributor. But Taylor saw a bigger opportunity.
“We represent every commodity,” she said. “We’re at a great stage in the supply chain to take on this all-encompassing voice for consumers and educate them on the abundant offerings in produce.”
In one year the Produce Mom site had about 169,000 visits, of which 61% came by social media referral.
Each month, about 75% of visits are new and 25% is return traffic, she said. The single most viewed entry recreated an Ocean Mist Farms slow cooker artichoke recipe.