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US: Cuties become parents' 'preferred mandarin brand', says new research

Cuties, the brand of mandarin oranges grown by Sun Pacific, a Pasadena-based company, is now parents most preferred mandarin and their favorite healthy snack brand according to the 2017 Brand Love Study, released by youth research firm Smarty Pants.

The brand posted a 43-point increase from the 2016 study, placing it at number 13 on the list of top 50 parent-preferred brands and ahead of other top branded produce labels, Sun Pacific said in a statement Monday.

“The Brand Love study is great affirmation that our approach to creating strong relationships with parents, especially millennials, who are now the largest generation, is working,” 

Howard Nager, vice president of business development at Sun Pacific, said. “Millennials represent immense purchasing power now and in the future. It’s why we spend a great deal of time learning about what’s important to them, and use those insights to guide our marketing efforts.”

Sun Pacific said it launched a highly successful marketing campaign last season that shared how Cuties oranges are grown, using a number of new influencer and social media marketing strategies to connect with parents and kids. The brand was the first produce to customise two marketing programs on Snapchat, the popular image messaging platform.

The brand’s Snapchat lens saw nearly 70 million brand exposures in 24 hours, more than four times exceeding Snapchat’s benchmark for interactions. Cuties also invited fans to create custom sticker designs using Snapchat’s drawing tools and icons for a chance to have them printed and placed on fruit this season.

Nine of the most creative submissions were selected and are now in production to appear on Cuties this November.

“Our Snapchat sticker contest is a great example of how we’re working to develop deeper relationships with our customers and fans,” said Nager. “By inviting parents and their kids to create content with us, they’re developing a connection with Cuties that will lead to increased preference and loyalty in the long-term.”

Cuties oranges return to the produce aisles this November.

Sun Pacific, which has its main sales marketing offices at 1095 East Green Street in Pasadena, started in 1969 when founder and CEO Berne Evans purchased 72 acres of orange groves in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aside from Cuties, the company now grows and distributes Mighties kiwi, Air Chief navel and Valencia oranges, lemons, grapes, and Vintage Sweets navel oranges.

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