Midway through the season, the Fresno-based California Table Grape Commission continues with its promotion plans developed before the first grape was even picked this spring and running through January.
Whether domestic or international, the programs emphasize the healthful and nutritional aspects of grapes, said Karen Brux, vice president of marketing communications.
Among the messages are “perfect anytime, healthy all the time” and “a whole bunch of flavor, a whole bunch of healthy.”
In the U.S., the commission also has tied into the popular Food Network, its Food Network Magazine and website.
In Canada, it teamed with the bilingual Chatelaine, a women’s magazine that features recipes and articles on healthy living, and its accompanying website.
As part of the overall marketing program, Brux said, commission representatives meet with retailers three times during the season to review sales figures and discuss promotional opportunities.
The second round runs through September, with the third round running in October and November.
“We show them research and strategize with them about how to move more grapes,” she said.
Retailers who increase their table grape promotions ― whether with larger displays, enhanced print ads or even in-store sampling ― have their store’s name and logo placed at the bottom of print or digital advertising in Food Network or Chatelaine media.
The tag lines are targeted to specific geographies, so an East Coast retailer’s name won’t appear in the Food Network Magazine mailed to the West Coast and vice versa, she said.
“It’s been very popular in the U.S. and Canada,” Brux said.
Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian and celebrity chef, took to the road in August to show audiences how to incorporate table grapes into healthful snacks ranging from those served to kids after school to those served at dinner parties.
Among the media outlets Krieger was featured on were CNN, the “Today” show and FoxNews.com.
The tour was an extension of an earlier contest on the commission’s Facebook page where fans were invited to submit their healthful recipe makeover prizes.
Two more Facebook contests are planned between September and December, Brux said.
For several years, the commission has sponsored a reception for supermarket dietitians at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference held by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she said.
This year, the commission also will have a 10-by-20-foot booth where representatives will hand out grape snacks and a new brochure aimed specifically at dietitians and nutritionists, Brux said.
In addition, Krieger is scheduled to be in the booth. The conference runs Oct. 6-9.
California table grapes are exported to more than 60 countries, and the commission has marketing program in 25 of those.
Although the programs vary from country to country, many include retail sampling, display contests, cooking demonstrations, importer incentive programs, tagged advertising and trade advertising, Brux said.