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    M&M Tropicals Launches Marketing Initiative

    Producer rolls out Web site and logo to boost awareness of its M&M Tropicals brand.

    Miami-based M&M Farms, also known as M&M Tropicals, has launched a new Web site and logo as part of a major marketing communications initiative to help build awareness to the M&M Tropicals brand. To further support its new initiatives, M&M for the first time will exhibit at the 2008 PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando, Fla. in October.

    Manny Hevia Jr., M&M's president/c.e.o., said, "The value of marketing is essential, but until recently M&M hasn't followed a long-term marketing strategy." To help define and execute a long-term strategy, M&M recently hired Mark Vertrees with TFM International, Inc. as a consultant to serve as M&M's marketing director, added Hevia.

    "M&M is a very solid tropical company that is very customer service focused," said Vertrees, noting that while the company has done "very well over the years through word-of-mouth, [it hasn't] done much other marketing communications. I believe that M&M has exceptional growth potential, and my mission currently is to move the M&M tropical brand forward."

    The redesigned M&M logo gives the company a more contemporary tropical look, explains Vertrees, noting: "We came up with several different logo design ideas, but believe the new M&M sun logo really stood out."

    The next steps, he says, will focus on gradually converting the company's Web site, shipping boxes, PLU stickers, and other collateral where the old logo exists into the new logo. M&M also plans to roll out several new print ads to tie-in with M&M's first PMA booth and also tie-in various tropical/specialty ads throughout the year.

    M&M Farms was formed through a partnership with Valdes Farms to be the packers, sales agent, and distributors of Valdes Farms in 1992 after the company was devastated by Hurricane Andrew. Valdes Farms started in 1967 as a South Florida grower of tropical roots, and remains a large growing arm of M&M today in Central and South America. Manolo Hevia Sr. started with Valdes Farms in 1975 and eventually acquired what was left of Valdes Farm after Hurricane Andrew. He and his son changed the name to M&M Farms, Inc. and rebuilt the company into a leader in tropicals.

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