California Table Grape Commission's Jeff Cardinale Discusses Grape Season, New Promotions
- by Jordan Okumura
FRESNO, CA - The much-anticipated California table grape season is just on the horizon and with it, the chance for retailers to give consumers the grapes they love. Coveted for their quality, flavor, and consistency, this category is a sales driver at retail and an essential element in the produce department spread.
According to the California Table Grape Commission, a recent study shows that 86 percent of grape purchasers prefer to buy grapes from California over those from other origins when priced the same. When California grapes are priced higher, 68 percent still prefer California grapes.
“This year, the advertising plan for California grapes includes messages for the primary shopper while they are at home, online, on the road, at the doctor’s office, and even at the store. Print media campaigns will occur all season long, from May through January and will include special cover wraps on People magazine distributed to doctor offices around the country six times during the year. The advertising messages will focus on health, usage, and origin,” Jeff Cardinale, Vice President of Communications with the Commission, tells me.
The Commission adds that one of the many reasons why California grapes are so special is the state’s unique terrain for growing California grapes. Here in the Golden State, the Coachella and San Joaquin valleys offer the optimal growing conditions for grapes of the highest quality, providing a winning combination of warm sunshine, nutrient-rich soil, and crisp mountain water.
“These ideal growing conditions are the subject of two new commercials for California grapes, one of which will debut globally in 2019. The commercials will be seen in the U.S. on The Food Network and The Cooking Channel. One of the commercials will also air in nearly 30 countries across Asia, Australia, and New Zealand,” Jeff shares. “Usage ads will focus on the portability and ease of incorporating California grapes as the perfect snack at home or on the go. These usage ads will feature the well-tested, and well-liked wood crate background, beautiful images of grapes and silhouettes of various activities like yoga and biking, showing consumers can go with grapes from California wherever they are and whatever they are doing. The usage print ad campaign will reach readers globally through in-flight magazines. “
In addition, the cultivation and growing of California table grapes will be reinforced and highlighted through the Explore California section of the commission website as well as in social media posts.
The benefits of grapes are more than just taste bud and sales impact-deep. Brain, colon, and heart health will be the focus of magazine print ads all season long. Heart and brain health and grapes will also appear in health-based inserts in USA Today, three times over the course of the season.
“In the car, consumers can hear new healthy snacking, holiday meal planning, and back-to-school messages about California grapes on the Radio Health Journal network and new healthy snacking spots on traffic radio airing on morning and afternoon drive times,” Jeff states. “As shoppers reach select locations, mobile geolocation-targeted California grape ads will appear on mobile devices. This is important, as recent research shows well over 20 percent of grape purchasers do not decide to buy grapes until after reaching the store.”
Want some more data to pique your interest? With nearly one-third of primary shoppers using mobile phone apps or websites to help make purchasing decisions, usage, and inspirational videos about California grapes will appear online to keep California grapes top of mind.
The Commission is big on letting the fruit speak for itself, and will during several sampling events. The consumer will also see gorgeous displays of grapes during display and sales contests with retailers, all reinforced with point-of-purchase materials that match the same beautiful and effective look of the magazine ads.
If you were not already excited about the California table grape season ahead, I bet you are now! Stay tuned for more from the California Table Grape Commission and the states leading growers as we ramp up for the season start!