Bold vision for cooperation

10/25/2013 11:38:00 AM
The Packer Editorial Board

Bolthouse Farms chief executive officer Jeff Dunn.Pamela RiemenschneiderBolthouse Farms chief executive officer Jeff Dunn (from left) talks with Trent DePaoli of AustChili Pty Ltd. and Brian Vertrees of Naturipe Farms, following the “Creating Fruit and Veggie Passion” session at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in New Orleans on Oct. 18.Hoping to inspire a “food revolution,” Jeff Dunn, chief executive officer of Bakersfield, Calif.-based Bolthouse Farms, may also help ignite a new way of industry working together.

Dunn led a workshop at Fresh Summit on Oct. 18 to introduce a initiative to bring together creative marketing minds and industry cohorts to spur demand, particularly among millennial consumers.

He told the workshop the industry needs to pool its resources to launch a widespread campaign to market more effectively and drive demand for fresh produce.

This type of bold challenge to action should be embraced by industry leaders. While it may seem a more fitting message for the leader of a generic promotion group than a leading brand marketer, we hope Dunn’s enthusiasm is contagious.

It’s easy enough to ride the wave of positive public relations and favorable health studies about fruit and vegetable consumption, but fighting for the hearts and minds of consumers will take more than that, Dunn points out.

The average child sees more than 5,500 television ads per year, fewer than 100 of which are for healthful foods, Dunn said.

Dunn’s call for a collective industry response goes against the grain of fresh produce marketing history, which reveals a highly divided, commodity-specific approach to win a bigger share of the consumer’s stomach.

A new approach is needed to push junk food aside and increase the appeal of all fresh produce.

Let the revolution begin.

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