“One of our key objectives is to remind consumers that they can continue enjoying fresh
blueberries in the winter, courtesy of Chile,”
Types of promotions that can take place
year-round include digital coupons, demonstrations, display contests, Instagram giveaways and TV ad sponsorships. Currently, the
CFFA is sponsoring 40 kids’ cooking classes in
a large Hispanic retail chain.
“We have three merchandisers throughout
the U.S. and Canada that spend every day connecting with retailers big and small and developing custom, tailored promotions,” Brux says.
“Our main focus is on working with retailers to
generate stronger sales of Chilean fruit.”
The singular objective of the National
Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB),
according to Juliemar Rosado, director of
retail operations and international marketing for the NWPB, is to increase consumers’
demand for watermelon through promotion,
research and educational programs.
In 2017, the Winter Springs, Fla.-based
organization will focus on the field of retail
dietitians as a way to educate consumers on
the benefits of watermelon.
“Supermarket retail dietitians continue to
be an influential audience to educate consum-
ers on nutrition,” says Rosado. “The 2016 con-
sumer research conducted indicated that more
than half of those surveyed were not aware
of watermelon’s health benefits, yet 73. 5 per-
cent replied they would purchase watermelon
in the future if they knew it was healthy and
nutritious for them.”
The NWPB spreads education through
Watermelon Queens, ambassadors that
are sponsored by different state and
national watermelon associations. The pro-
gram includes eight state and one national
Watermelon Queen, each responsible for pro-
moting watermelon in their area, participat-
ing in promotions at grocery retailers, media
interviews and more.
The organization’s annual watermelon display contest will take place again this year. In
the months of July and August, retail chains,
independent retailers and commissaries can
create displays showcasing the benefits of
watermelon to win prizes worth more than
“With a category item like ours, good merchandising is important because it confirms
value, health and versatility of our product
which also happen to be some of the primary
drivers for watermelon sales,” Rosado adds.
IDAHO POTATO COMMISSION
The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), the
marketing arm for the Idaho potato industry,
is one commodity board that is well known
by retailers and consumers alike. The Eagle,
Idaho-based commission has been around
now for 80 years, creating value behind the
Idaho potatoes brand.
The IPC achieves this through its con-sumer- and retailer-focused marketing promotions, like the annual sponsorship of the
Idaho Potato Bowl every December and the
Big Idaho Potato truck.
The Big Idaho Potato truck started out as a
75th anniversary promotion for the IPC, and
is now going into its sixth year of touring the
country spreading awareness about Idaho
potatoes, interacting with consumers nationwide and stopping at major events like the
Kentucky Derby or NASCAR races.
“We’ve done 20,000 miles or more around
the U.S. and been to 500 or 600 cities, and
often stop at retailers,” says Seth Pemsler,
vice president of retail/international for the
IPC. The tour generally runs for six to seven
months per year, weather permitting. The
truck is scheduled to hit the road again in
either March or April.
On the retailer side, the IPC’s annual Potato
Lover’s Month retail display contest grows
larger and larger each year—more than 5,000
stores are expected to enter between January
16 and March 17. Instead of the typical cash
prize, the IPC has upped the stakes and winners are being treated to a Caribbean cruise.
This prize is worth two and a half times the
cash prize, Pemsler says.
Alongside Potato Lover’s Month the IPC
is running a jumbo bin promotion. “We are
offering retailers the opportunity to buy
the jumbo potatoes in bags in bins and get a
rebate. We’re running this the same time as
Potato Lover’s Month because the sheds have
so many excess big potatoes,” Pemsler adds.
In addition to its many promotions, the
market research done by the IPC is another
value the commission offers to retailers. Most
recently, it conducted a study based on two
years of IRI data that shows Idaho potatoes
are less price sensitive than non-Idaho potatoes. “As Idaho potatoes go up in price, consumers will still pay,” Pemsler says. “They are
more focused on the premium brand. This is
important for retailers because they don’t have
to match all competitors’ prices.”