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The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) has concentrated its energies in recent years on closing the gap between summer and winter fresh produce consumption, and to keep that momentum going in 2010, along with its long-running advertising and retail promotion programs, the Sonoma, Calif.-based organization has boosted investment in public relations to generate positive media coverage.
“Last year saw the growth of the Chilean citrus sector, with the introductions of navel oranges and grapefruit to the U.S.” noted CFFA North American marketing manager Tom Tjerandsen. “Chile’s growers, packers and exporters have developed a seamless supply chain with strict quality and phytosanitary controls to deliver world-class fruit to U.S. consumers.”
According to CFFA associate VP Jason Stemm, “With the increased focus on healthier eating to help curb the growth in chronic disease, Chile is poised to help offer consumers more options for fresh fruit when domestic production wanes.”
For the coming season, the association will continue its outreach to consumer food editors and writers through kitchen-tested recipes and usage tips for fresh fruit. CFFA will also employ television and in-store radio to get word out that fresh, high-quality fruit is available during the winter. This month, CFFA expects to reach over 10 million consumers nationally through a segment with Mr. Food airing nationally Feb. 18, and a Health & Home Report that will run on network, cable and online channels throughout February. Additional outreach to consumer affairs directors at retail chains will help reach shoppers in search of healthier foods.
In the foodservice arena, CFFA again scheduled distributor contests for January and February, and will exhibit once more at the CaterSource Conference in March. Ongoing communication with foodservice media will highlight industry success stories and aim to inspire other operators with up-to-date usage ideas. CFFA will also take food writers, buyers and chefs to fruit-producing areas to witness for themselves the process of growing fruit and shipping it to the United States.
Collaborating with the organization on its expanded produce public relations program is New York-based full-service integrated marketing communications agency Lewis & Neale, Inc., which has worked with CFFA for the past decade.
Chile ships 40 percent of its total fruit exports to the United States, and forecasts project U.S.-bound shipments to exceed 100 million cases this year. Table grapes will continue to dominate volume, but increased blueberry acreage and new varieties of other fruits are currently creating industry buzz.