Florida’s produce marketing arm adds retail chains

11/04/2011 02:09:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

In its 11th year, the Fresh from Florida program works with retailers from around the world that display the program’s logo in store produce aisles and in weekly shopper advertisements.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ division of marketing provides incentives to retailers to run ads prominently displaying the logo to market the chain’s produce. The agency is considering adding several new retailers this season, said Dan Sleep, the agency’s senior analyst.

This marketing year, the agency expects its programs to generate 412,000 individual store ads, higher than the 400,000 that ran last year.

Worldwide, the department plans to place advertisements in more than 13,000 separate stores, higher than the more than 11,000 than participated during the 2010-11 season, Sleep said.

“The largest number of store ads we ever had was 420,000, so this year should be very close to that,” he said.

“We are looking at a very good year so far. The crops are out there. Provided we don’t have a major hurricane hit us, we are looking at being in an outstanding position to go into this new year and again bring strong marketing support throughout the U.S. and Canada and many areas around the globe.”

Internationally, 3,200 stores participate in the program.

Sleep said South Korean chain E-Mart, the Peru-based E Wong Supermarkets and a Puerto Rican chain are also considering joining the promotional program.

Retailers in Singapore and South Korea may feature blueberries and fresh oranges in their promotions.

Sleep said the agency is trying to diversify Southeast Asia into more items besides grapefruit.

He said the March Japanese earthquake and tsunami freed some grapefruit supply and moved distribution into other Asian areas.

As the Japanese market declined after the earthquake, Sleep said the agency helped negotiate shipments into South Korea.

He said the agency wants to support other Florida non-citrus fruit and vegetables as well. Sleep said 45% of the program’s Southeast Asia campaign advertisements promote grapefruit, oranges and tangerines.

The department works with a large Asian operation and continuously strengthens its marketing efforts.

It also markets Florida produce in the United Kingdom and Sweden as well as with retail chains in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Adam Putnam, Florida’s new agriculture commissioner, likes the international push, Sleep said.

This year, the Global Grid program, which promotes Florida product outside of the state, may work with as many as 50 individual supermarket chains, a big jump from the 40 that participated last year and the 37 that were involved in the 2009-10 season.


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