Berry commodity boards and some grower-shippers have come up with attention-grabbing promotions to help boost berry consumption this summer.
California Giant Inc., Watsonville, launched its national Giant Fans of Baseball sweepstakes that will award a $100 gift card each week to Play It Again Sports, a chain of sporting goods stores that buy, sell and trade sports and fitness equipment.
Consumers can enter by scanning a quick-response code with a smartphone or by visiting the company’s website.
The contest runs until Aug. 12. The company also is planning California Giant Day Aug. 12 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Fans attending the game will receive free strawberries.
California Giant also will sponsor Junior Giants Day Aug. 12, where kids from the inner city and local communities will receive baseball gloves and can attend baseball clinics taught by former players.
California Strawberry Commission, Watsonville, is hosting a Sweetest When Shared strawberry recipe contest on its Facebook page through July 31, said Chris Christian, vice president of marketing.
Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places, and winning recipes will be posted on the commission’s website.
The commission also connects with food bloggers by hosting summer parties and field tours, said Carolyn O’Donnell, communications director.
The commission also is focusing on Hispanic media.
Earlier this year, registered dietitian Sylvia Melendez-Klinger accompanied a strawberry grower on a Hispanic media tour, and interviews with a grower’s family were set to air this summer on Univision’s “Despierta America” and “Primer Impacto” programs.
Finally, the commission is sponsoring conversations between community leaders and local strawberry growers with a goal of “building mutual understanding about farming in the community,” O’Donnell said.
Colorful Harvest LLC, Salinas, Calif. has partnered with Kraft Foods Inc. for a promotion, said Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing partner at Colorful Harvest.
“The promotion is a cross-merchandising opportunity with soft chocolate cream cheese and strawberries,” he said.
Consumers who buy a clamshell of Colorful Harvest strawberries and Kraft Philadelphia Indulgence — a chocolate cream cheese spread — will receive $1 off their purchase instantly, he said. The promotion began in July and continues into September.
The North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association, Pittsboro., N.C., has created colorful, consumer-friendly recipe brochures that growers have handed out to their customers and can be handed out at supermarkets, said Debby Wechsler, executive secretary.
The association offers a wealth of recipes and berry information on its website, www.raspberryblackberry.com
The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Folsom, Calif., has its work cut out for it if it wants to move the 735 million pounds of blueberries expected to be in production in North America by 2015, said Mark Villata, executive director.
The council, which traditionally targeted its marketing efforts toward women 45 and older, will expand its efforts with its Little Blue Dynamo campaign aimed at women 25-30, which includes soccer moms and young professional women.
The council has scheduled print advertising this summer in Cooking Light magazine and Food Network Magazine and has scheduled online activities, including a tie-in with TV personality Rachael Ray and her website, which will direct visitors to the council’s website.
Wish Farms, Plant City, Fla., has variable-printed quick-response codes on its packaging that can provide consumers with detailed information on a mobile website about the berries they purchased.
“It connects directly to the picker in the field and the farm location,” said Gary Wishnatzki, president and chief executive officer.
“You can actually see a video of the grower whose farm the berries came from.”
The site also provides information and recipes and offers consumers a chance to leave feedback on a site that is specific to the farm location.