NYAA has solid marketing plan for year ahead
The New York Apple Association’s new marketing plan focuses on increasing the awareness and sales of New York’s superior tasting apples through trade and consumer programs.
Through a third-party partnership, the NYAA completed a qualitative study that included top produce executives representing a range of retail chains of all sizes and types: large, national chains; smaller, regional chains; and independent chains. The study includes outlets driving approximately 75 percent of total U.S. food sales. The study assisted in understanding retailer perceptions of the New York apple industry and identifying marketing opportunities.
“Driving consumer traffic to retail stores where shoppers can find New York apples by using geotargeted social media methods is one of our strongest objectives for this year,” said Cynthia Haskins, president and CEO of the New York Apple Association. “We are taking brand awareness to a whole new level. We want to not only build awareness but entice the consumer to buy. Our consumer target audience is consumers within driving distance of retail stores where New York apples are merchandised.”
NYAA shared that they are assisting retail partners in building impressive displays by providing free-standing displays, display wrap in addition to providing advertising opportunities through digital couponing, print and digital cooperative assistance and making available social media content available.
“We work closely with our shippers to determine which marketplaces our apples are headed so we can build a solid program that helps our shippers market New York state apples and helps our retail partners sell them,” Haskins said. “Retailers have a preferred mix of apple varieties, and we work with them in determine how we can identify varietal opportunities within the apple category.”
NYAA reported that they are having great success with their social media programs. Digital and social media content is centering on different apple varieties in addition to giving consumers usage ideas, education about flavor profiles of the different New York apple varieties. The association is also building awareness regarding the nutritious value of New York apples by working closely with school foodservice and healthcare professionals, such as registered dietitians and foodservice directors.
The association continues to add to its “how-to” recipe video library by featuring the videos on the NYAA website and social media. These recipes have been popular in the past and generate traffic to their website, as does their series of themed social media sweepstakes. The sweepstakes generate significant consumer participation, link consumers to the NYAA website and newsletter signup, and put gift boxes into winners’ hands. Some of the current running sweepstakes is giving away an Apple Pie Kit, a charcuterie board and NY apples, and a newly announced sweepstakes featuring their popular Apples from New York aprons.
“Most apples are consumed out of hand, whether eating a whole apple or apple slices, consumers are looking for apples that have superior flavor, texture, and a memorable eating experience — bite after bite,” Haskins said. “We are reaching out to consumers to educate them on why New York apples are so flavorful.”
The NYAA is also making it easy for consumers who want to add some zing to their salads, sandwiches, favorite desserts or newly discovered recipes that place New York apples as one of the core ingredients. NYAA now offers over 275 recipes for consumers to practice their culinary skills.
The mission of the NYAA is to increase consumer demand for New York apples through promotion, marketing, and communications, along with marketing and product research and educational programs that strengthen apple producers’ return on investment.
The NYAA’s funding comes through the NY Apple Marketing Order and a special fund through the state. During each marketing season, the state predetermines a budget to estimate the administration of the order and for carrying out programs and activities, including advertising, promotion and publicity, marketing and product research, and informational services. The New York apple growers are assessed each season.