DOVER, Fla. — The Florida Strawberry Growers Association is turning to social media to encourage consumers to eat more fresh strawberries this winter.
The association plans to target chefs, restaurant managers and consumers through social networking sites such as Facebook, other websites and blogs.
“Consumers are looking online for recipes now more than cookbooks,” said Sue Harrell, director of marketing.
“We want to come up and be one of their choices so they can come to us. We want to show people what to do and give them different ideas other than eating strawberries fresh, like how exciting it is to put them in a salad or do other things other than eating desserts.”
Ted Campbell, executive director, said organizations can reach many more people through the way they use the Internet and that such promotions are less expensive than printing materials for distribution at retail and foodservice locations.
For the second year, the association is using Jammer, an animated strawberry character, to promote the state’s berries.
Many packers are affixing the Jammer image alongside the Fresh from Florida logo on clamshells.
The association is using the character in videos designed for children that cover nutrition, information on the industry and recipes such as a children’s strawberry smoothie breakfast.
The character has been an effective vehicle in teaching children about the importance of strawberries, Campbell said.
Other videos designed for adults also feature a local grower and a handler discussing berry production and packing to educate consumers about Florida’s berries.
The videos will include recipes and information such as instructions for chocolate dipping berries, Christmas holiday entertaining and creative ways to improve table settings using strawberries.
The video programs and other information will also show consumers what they can do with berries once they bring them home to ensure they bring out the best flavor.
Those videos and other information will be available though a new website, http://strawberrysue.com.