Florida Tomato Committee promotes through TV, websites

03/07/2013 03:02:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

MAITLAND, Fla. — The Florida Tomato Committee wants to encourage more moms to incorporate tomatoes into their meals by marketing tomatoes through cable TV food programs, Internet health sites, local radio and social media.

For the second year, the organization is partnering with The Food Network’s Cooking Channel sister channel.

The promotions use chef host Giada De Laurentiis in 60-second cooking segments featuring simple tomato dishes.

The committee plans to run short tags at the end of the vignettes followed by commercials promoting Florida tomatoes’ nutrition benefits and versatility of use, said Samantha Daves, the committee’s director of education and promotion.

Nutrition focus

Through a partnership with webmd.com, the industry wants to promote the health attributes of tomatoes by sponsoring messages appearing in the site’s health and wellness editorial sections.

Daves said the partnership should help spread the message of Florida tomatoes’ health and flavor attributes.

“We know from past research that consumers are motivated to eat more fresh Florida tomatoes when hearing about tomatoes’ nutritious contribution,” Daves said.

“WebMD is America’s top health and wellness information resource, reaching 92 million monthly unique visitors and connecting with one out of every two adults and three out of every four moms. WebMD delivers the consumer that the FTC wants to educate about the nutrients in Florida tomatoes.”

The committee is developing a campaign involving food bloggers.

During April’s Florida tomato month, the committee plans to work with several bloggers to develop a variety of exclusive Florida tomato-focused recipes, Daves said.

The committee also plans Facebook and Twitter promotions, she said.

The committee is scheduling radio advertisements with local personalities in eight Eastern U.S. cities to promote Florida’s tomatoes.

The spots also attempt to inform consumers about the availability of tomatoes in supermarket produce departments, Daves said.

Retail focus

To spark retail merchandising creativity, the committee works with retail merchandisers, who assemble sales and display contests, in-store radio, cooking demonstrations, sampling programs and advertising circulars.

The merchandising efforts that focus on the Northeast and Southeast also include point-of-purchase material, posters, shelf cards and tear-off recipe pads.

“The overall program has a U.S. trade and consumer penetration as well as a separate trade campaign for Florida tomatoes’ largest export market, Canada,” Daves said.

“All of our campaigns work together to communicate the availability, health, good flavor, versatility, wholesomeness and handling information of fresh tomatoes to consumer and trade audiences in order to increase sales of Florida tomatoes.”

The radio advertisements are scheduled to air in Orlando; Tampa; West Palm Beach; Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Philadelphia; New York and Boston.

The webmd.com promotion also includes sponsoring the site’s diet and nutrition newsletter, which is read by 471,000 subscribers a day, she said.

For foodservice promotions, the committee makes materials available to help chefs and foodservice operators prepare menus and properly handle Florida tomatoes.



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