A “Cranberry” White and Blue Summer by Scott J. Soares
As U.S. cranberry blossoms across the country test their mettle in varying regional climates, some since April, their human custodians keep a watchful eye not only on Mother Nature but also on latest volume control developments that resulted from the CMC’s recommendation to the USDA at its February 2014 meeting.
With the progress toward a 2014 volume control measure in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind readers that the “go-to” spot for the latest volume control news can be found on our Cranberry Marketing Committee blog that is easily accessed through the CMC home page uscranberries.com. Through the CMC Volume Control 2014 blog you’ll find as-real-time-as-we-can-get updates and important information for growers and handlers.
Meanwhile, the CMC is moving full steam ahead with some exciting campaigns that we think bode well for positive sales traction at a time of year where sales are historically the lowest for cranberries.
What’s on the “Get-Your-Cran-On” grill? The CMC and key social media influencers are starting to light up the summer skies with “cranberry, white, and blue” July 4th and summer-themed cranberry recipes that include grillables, sides, salads, beverages and desserts perfect for summer BBQ season.
Coryanne Ettiene shows how to make cranberry sorbet on iFoodTV
Not only will this new summer digital content generate hundreds of thousands of new impressions, but importantly it will serve as an “evergreen” source of summer cranberry ideas with the intent to keep America’s Original Superfruitsm at the forefront all year round.
In further summer news, five new and beautiful recipe cards have arrived that will be going out to twelve of the busiest Big Y stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts as our pilot coupon and in-store demos kick off. And speaking of recipes, our second-in-series eCookbook featuring some of the CMC’s summer-best recipes is due for release around July 4th. The twenty new recipes will be free to download and share!
In recognition of the great and growing opportunities associated with social media, we also have a summer Twitter Party planned for June 25th that we’ve already shared with all of the brands and cranberry handlers and that we hope you’ll join as well. Not sure what Twitter is let alone a Twitter Party? A Twitter party revolves around a branded hashtag such as #UScranberries. It allows us to actively engage online with interested consumers and share our brand message. Twitter parties are great for content syndication as well and generating a large number of impressions. Importantly, this activity is not intended to replace any social media activities that any may have underway but is truly an opportunity to extend and coordinate such promotional efforts during the summer months.
Related to our summer social media campaign, we also recently provided all US handlers with a creative brief with the purpose of enhancing campaigns already underway with a unifying hashtag of #UScranberries. If you are interested in learning more about how you can participate and tap into the Get Your Cran On fun, please contact Anna Waclawiczek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, indications are good that our domestic and international marketing strategies are having an impact. As of our second cycle report (April), we had good news to report that “total domestic sales” and “foreign sales processed” were both up from the same time one year ago at 14% and 27% respectively. The Q2 Position Summary and additional Reports and analysis can be viewed through the Data & Reports link under “The Cranberry Story” tab on the CMC home page uscranberries.com where currently 11 downloadable report scenarios are presented.
As perhaps a “cranberry” on top…we also received very exciting news that the CMC has received two awards: the PRSA-NY Big Apple Award for its National School Lunch Program, and, the Paragon Award from the Southeastern Wisconsin PSRA for our South Korean media tour.
With both challenges and great opportunities ahead, I will keep you posted. If you have any questions or would like more information about our programs, please don’t hesitate to let me know.