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Producers supply creative campaigns and fresh produce for children

Marketers of fresh produce are creatively crafting campaigns designed to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among children.

Stemilt Growers LLC, headquartered in Wenatchee, WA, has had tremendous success with its “LIL SNAPPERS” brand of apples, pears and citrus. Director of Marketing Roger Pepperl said the company first unveiled “LIL SNAPPERS” at the 2011 Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit. OpenerShot2In 2011, the Fort Gordon Commissary’s produce department created the ‘Big Top of Healthy Snacks.’ Seen here is Michael Patrick, a vendor with Military Produce Group. (Photo courtesy of Bonnie Heater/U.S. Army)“We pack a higher grade in this bag,” Pepperl told The Produce News. “We picked the name because it travels across categories.”

The fruit is smaller sized and fits perfectly into the hands of children. But the “LIL SNAPPERS” concept does not stop there. “The product needs to be branded in such a way that, when it goes home, it has as strong a message as it does in the store,” Pepperl commented.

‘LIL SNAPPERS” fruit is sold in a high-graphics, stand-up bag designed to be stored on refrigerator shelves and not buried in the produce bin. “The packaging is resealable, colorful and attractive,” he continued. And the cartoon-like characters seen snapping their fingers are appealing to children.

Because fruit packed in the brand is high quality, children have a positive eating experience. Using apples as an example, Pepperl said, “We pick flavors that kids would like.” Granny Smith and Pink Ladies are two favorites for youngsters.

Social networking is a way of life in today’s digital landscape. Packaging for the brand contains a QR code, enabling moms and children to gain quick access to a recipe section and coloring pages.

The New York Apple Association has scored with its selection of U.S. soccer superstar Abby Wambach as its celebrity ambassador. NYAA will be working with Wambach in media messaging, radio, and digital and print content.

“We are thrilled to have her on our team, and we want consumers to make it their goal to score with New York apples this season,” Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association told The Produce News. “Since Abby is famous for her ‘headers,’ our advice to apple eaters is to use their heads and pick New York state apples.”

Wambach has a life-long history of involvement with her chosen sport and is a positive role model. “Abby has attracted attention on the soccer field since early childhood,” her website states. “Growing up in Rochester, NY, she played in her first youth league at age 4 and was transferred from the girls to the boys team after scoring 27 goals in three games. The youngest of seven children, Abby felt right at home with the boys team, since she spent her childhood roughhousing with her four older brothers.”

 “She is a celebrity star athlete in women’s soccer, and she has the attention of literally millions of young soccer players across the country,” Allen commented. “Obviously, she attracts the attention from female soccer players that want to aspire to be like ‘Abby.’ Her lifestyle of exercise, healthy eating and being in absolutely top physical shape sends a tremendous message to consumers. Our demographic has always been ‘Soccer Moms,’ and if Soccer Moms do not look up to Abby then I would say they are not true soccer moms.”

Filming for the first commercial is schedule at the end of August in anticipation of a September launch. “We are also developing another commercial that will precede the Abby spot because of the crop-sensitive theme of the messaging,” Allen added.

NYAA is also a corporate sponsor of the New York City Marathon. “We feel that associating ourselves with events such as that, and with Abby that it is sending a strong message to consumers, about health, exercise and eating apples — New York apples, of course.”

On July 15, Freshway Foods, based in Sidney, OH, launched Power Packs, a new line of products specifically developed for the school foodservice market. The line is comprised of individually packaged snack packs that are pre-portioned for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Program. A wide array of fresh produce, including regional and ethnic favorites, is available.

“Power Packs are two-ounce snack packs that contain 100 percent usable product and do not require any cutting, cleaning or additional handling,” said Vice President of Sales and Marketing Dan Purdy. “This enables school foodservice departments to cut time and labor costs while maintaining food-safety standards.”

Freshway is a fresh fruit and vegetable processor, repacker, distributor and logistics provider. In addition to Power Packs, the company has also created a toolkit serving as a resource for school participation in the USDA program. The toolkit includes checklists and guides to participation, as well as high-quality promotional materials for students and parents.