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Watermelon board prepares promotions for upcoming season
“Initial domestic harvest and shipping is underway in Florida and Texas. Overall watermelon shipments are slightly below the previous five-year average for this time of the year, but that is subject to change as other areas around the country begin to ship and ramp up for what promises to be an excellent year for watermelons,” said Mark Arney, executive director and CEO, National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB).
To support the domestic season, NWPB is activating promotions to engage three core audiences: consumer, retailer and foodservice. Stephanie Barlow, senior director of communications for NWPB, shares, “It’s important that as watermelon hits the market, we reinforce our commitment to core audiences. That means continued education on the health benefits and ways to use watermelon and helping partners market during peak season.”
People would be surprised to know that the majority of watermelons are not consumed as a side dish at a summer barbecue or part of a refreshing cocktail, but as a snack according to 2017 NWPB consumer research. To get consumers to step up their snacking game, NWPB is introducing a “Watermelon On the Go” campaign theme this summer. The campaign will premiere on www.watermelon.org in time for peak season with a hub of “on the go” content and a series of videos with simple, snackable and portable recipe ideas.
NWPB is also taking on one of the biggest challenges consumers have with watermelons: handling its size. The NWPB team will visit editors at Time Inc. Food Studios for a watermelon butchery demo to showcase the many easy ways to carve and use a whole watermelon.
Good merchandising is important as it confirms the value and health benefits of watermelon. In fact, 87 percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy watermelon knowing it is healthy and nutritious. Helping to enforce this, the NWPB is engaging with NutriSavings, a digital nutrition wellness program. NutriSavings helps employers, supermarket retailers, health plans and food companies join forces to get employees and their families to shop, cook and eat healthier.
Returning for the 2018 domestic season is the NWPB retail display contest, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Open to all retail chains, independent retailers and commissaries, retailers create displays during July and August that showcase the many reported benefits of watermelon. Potential winnings include more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. To help with the construction of displays, the NWPB has merchandising kits — which include point-of-sales materials — available for retailers June 15-August 15. These kits can be ordered online, one per retail location. Retailers can also find more resources for peak season at www.watermelon.org/Retailers.
For more information:
Tel: +1 (971) 259-4729
Publication date: 5/17/2018
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