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    Marketing Promotions Increase Sales of Florida Produce by $394 Million

    ALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Three produce marketing campaigns conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services here helped increase retail sales of Florida-grown agricultural products by $394.4 million over last year.

    ALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Three produce marketing campaigns conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services here helped increase retail sales of Florida-grown agricultural products by $394.4 million over last year.

    The 2005-2006 marketing campaigns -- "Global Grid," "Florida Farmers' Express," and the "Florida Watermelon Campaign" -- saw an increase in participating grocery stores, an expanded geographic area, and an increase in the number of advertisements.

    "This year's marketing promotions generated an additional $394.4 million over the previous year's increase," said Florida agriculture commissioner Charles H. Bronson. "We were again very successful in marketing 'Fresh from Florida' products to consumers throughout the United States and abroad."

    The marketing promotions, which ran from November 2005 to June 2006, were timed to coincide with Florida's important winter-spring harvest that supplies the United States with most of its domestically grown produce. The Global Grid campaign, now in its fifth year, included 7,684 stores and generated $324.7 million in additional retail sales. The Florida Farmers Express campaign, now in its sixth year, included 1,734 stores and generated $41.1 million in additional retail sales. The Florida Watermelon Campaign, now in its third year, included 4,293 stores and generated $28.6 million in additional retail sales.

    The three marketing campaigns spanned 43 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, five Canadian provinces, and 11 Caribbean and Central American countries. Thirty-four retail grocery chains with 13,711 individual stores participated by featuring Florida products in their circular ads 754 times, yielding 178,955 individual store ads that generated over 8.8 billion consumer impressions.

    "We were able to drastically expand these campaigns due their proven track record in previous years," said Bronson said. "After seeing their sales increase, most retail partners eagerly signed up for another year. We also added new partners and extended the campaigns' reach into Alaska, Texas, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington for the first time."

    The three successful marketing initiatives were joint ventures of the Division of Marketing and Development, the Florida Department of Citrus, and the Florida Watermelon Association. The marketing promotions are part of the ongoing Fresh from Florida campaign, an identification and promotional program designed to boost the image of Florida agriculture and increase sales by helping consumers to easily identify Florida-grown agricultural products at retail stores. The Fresh from Florida campaign also helps increase public awareness of the importance of Florida's agriculture industry, which has an estimated overall economic impact of over $87 billion annually.

    The 34 retail grocery chains participating in the three promotions included Acme Markets, Affiliated, Albertsons, A&P Canada, AWI/Shurfine, Bi-Lo, Bozzuto's, Farm Fresh, Food Basics, Hannaford, Harvey's, Ingles, Jewel-Osco, Kash 'N Karry, Kitchen Table, Kroger, Loeb, Lowes, Market Basket, Meijer, Metro, Nash Finch, Penn Traffic, Price Chopper, Price Smart Central America, Provigo, Publix, Roundy's, Sobey's, Sobey's Atlantic, Spartan Stores, Ukrop's, Winn-Dixie, and Waitrose UK.

    Among the Florida produce items featured in the three promotions were bell peppers, blueberries, cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, grapefruit, melons, oranges, potatoes, radishes, snap beans, squash, strawberries, sweet corn, tangerines, tomatoes, tropical fruits, and variety lettuces.

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