NJ peach promotions looks to raise awareness of local peaches
The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council has been in the business of promoting state peaches for 72 years. It is a voluntary organization of growers, marketers and industry allies focused on the orderly marketing with emphasis on promotion of New Jersey peaches.
Significant advice and support are also given by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and Rutgers New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station specialists and consultants. “As a peach promotion council, our mission is to raise public awareness and hence demand for our Jersey peaches during our relatively short season, late June to mid-September,” said Pegi Adam, marketing manager and consultant for the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council. “We are in competition with southern growers, especially during the early part of the season before mid-July, and with California-grown peaches, which seem to be in markets year-round.”
One of the council’s ongoing goals is to sell peaches into mid-September and not be superseded by apples, which leap into store spotlights right after Labor Day. The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council utilizes a variety of means to raise public awareness that Jersey peaches in season are “the best around.” Its website, www.jerseypeaches.com, is especially strong, offering a calendar of availability, descriptions of different varieties, where to buy wholesale and retail, and weekly availability postings on social media, including local online publications.
“Our Facebook page is also strong, with various vendors logging on to promote their own peaches and special peach days at farmers markets, where we give away reusable, colorful peach bags, magnets and recipe brochures,” Adam said. “You may question that promoting at the farmers markets does little for the supermarket purchase, but it serves to remind consumers about how flavorful and juicy our peaches are, and they look for them in the markets.”
This year, it will also be putting banners on its website reminding consumers that the season is still strong through mid-September. “We also participate with ‘Jersey Fresh,’ wherein the department dedicates some of its own ad budget to our peaches, including one of its billboard ads, a placement the PPC could not afford on its own,” Adam said. “It’s a positive symbiotic relationship. We are exploring additional cooperative promotional ventures with the Dept. of Agriculture as well as exploring how our own limited budget can continue to keep Jersey peaches in the forefront of public demand.”
Still, she noted the biggest opportunity for expanding and growing business over the course of the next year is having large, flavorful Jersey Fresh peaches available in quantities at competitive prices from late June through September.
“We will continue to emphasize local because we can target in our promotional program the 10-11 million people in New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York market areas, and we have always had good markets in New England and even Ontario,” Adam said. “We also hope to do more advertising emphasizing the healthful benefits of peaches. We have some advanced selections of red fleshed peaches. We know peaches have high antioxidant levels but we know these red fleshed peaches and red skinned varieties have more based on available research.”