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The Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association (BVMDGA), responsible for 70 percent of the United States’ Medjool date crop, has unveiled the Natural Delights brand to identify the 1 million of pounds of Medjool dates it grows and sells annually. Launching next month, the Natural Delights brand -- short for Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates -- will grace all organic and non-organic Medjool dates grown in California’s Bard Valley, including tubs, boxes and processed rolls.
The identity initiative will be backed by a national marketing campaign consisting of digital advertising, in-store promotion, social media and public relations. The association will also launch Natural Delights-dedicated Web and Facebook pages, along with a robust collection of entrees, salads, side dishes and desserts showcasing Medjool dates.
“Natural Delights takes Medjool dates into a new era of consumer awareness in the U.S.,” noted Ed O’Malley, president of Datepac, the largest packer and shipper of Natural Delights Medjool Dates in the United States. “The new Natural Delights identity reflects the very essence of our product, growing process and commitment to expanding the public’s date-consumption horizons.”
“While many culinary enthusiasts already embrace the world’s oldest fruit, we’ll be using the new Natural Delights name to educate a whole new generation of Americans about the versatility, taste and nutritional value of Medjool dates,” explained Dave Anderson, marketing director of BVMDGA, a consortium of family growers in the Southwest.
Anderson added that as a continuation of the Great Medjool Date Tour kicked off earlier this year, grower representatives will visit eight U.S. cities this fall to introduce consumers in these markets to the culinary possibilities of Medjool dates and the Natural Delights identity.
Among the activities planned in the “Top Date City” markets – Boston, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, San Antonio, Miami, and Tampa and Orlando, Fla. -- are local samplings, in-store promotions and partnerships with local chefs, registered dietitians (RDs) and food bloggers. These markets have also been chosen the grower group for expanded local advertising, online and PR activities to encourage the cities’ larger-than-average percentage of date-loving residents to increase their date usage even more.
Rolling out in tandem with the Natural Delights brand identity are Natural Delights Medjool Date Pistachio Rolls, diced dates covered with chopped pistachio nuts and available in 8-ounce and 12-ounce sizes. The new offerings join organic and non-organic Medjool dates in 8-ounce, 12-ounce and and 11-pound tubs/boxes; 8-ounce and 12-ounce organic and non-organic Medjool Date Almond Rolls; and 8-ounce and 12-ounce organic and non-organic Medjool Date Coconut Rolls.
Naturally sweet, low-glycemic Medjool dates are a good source of fiber and contain more antioxidants than blueberry juice and only slightly fewer antioxidants than pomegranate juice. They also provide such vitamins and minerals as potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K.