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NJPPC continues strong efforts to highlight Jersey peaches

By
Keith Loria

The role of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is to assist growers in the sales of peaches through promotion and marketing.

“We look to promote the New Jersey peach industry as a whole through industry and consumer awareness programs and placing advertising in key media,” said Pegi Adam, marketing and promotion consultant for the NJPPC. “Among such programs have been peach display contests for markets, amateur peach pie baking contests in markets that have test kitchens, peach samplings with in-store nutritionists, and providing collateral such as brochures with recipes for customers to pick up.” 

The NJPPC continues to work hard for the New Jersey Peach industry through advertising the availability of local peaches and promoting the arrival of the state’s sweet, juicy peaches.

The council also works very closely with Rutgers on the research end, looking towards the future of the New Jersey peach crops.

“The NJPPC is also in the midst of a strategic refresh of our website to provide the most up to date information,” Adam said.

For the 2021 season, beginning at the end of June, the NJPPC will engage in continual outreach to markets, utilizing social media, including Facebook, Twitter, the web pages of both the NJPPC and the markets. 

“Outreach will cover such topics as availability, nutritional value of peaches, why Jersey peaches are superior, coupling peaches with other products such as pie crusts, peach ciders, peach jams, peach pies, plus recipes and tips for using peaches in untraditional ways,” Adam said. “We will also continue a stream of press releases on various aspects and value of Jersey-grown peaches in print, broadcast and social media.”

Although it’s too early to make any accurate predictions, those involved in the industry expect a very good crop this year with projections being for a full crop with fruit available from the beginning of July through mid-September.

“This winter, we did not have any weather events which would have adversely affected the upcoming crop,” said Bonnie Lundblad of Sunny Valley International. “Growers have been actively thinning the fields to provide the large size fruit consumers enjoy.”

She added that the NJPPC helps companies like hers by making sure retailers and consumers are kept up to date with the latest information regarding the upcoming crop, as well as assisting by directing any technical issues to the proper entities within the state.

“The pandemic was very hard on the growers who worked tirelessly the entire season to keep their workforce healthy, while not stopping harvest and packing,” Lundblad said. “New Jersey, along with all the peach producing regions had a smaller crop than normal, meaning extremely strong demand. The growers who did have crops did very well price wise.”

One of the NJPPC’s most successful initiatives was requesting that the governor declare August “Jersey Peach Month,” which has since become an annual proclamation, and the hope is that will continue under Governor Murphy.

The council also hopes that retailers continue to do a great job promoting New Jersey peaches in their produce departments. “Our goal is to have all retailers advertise and prominently feature New Jersey local peaches,” Adam said. “My dream would be to see enticing displays of peaches in bins at the markets, with NJPPC banners and irresistible peach pies. I’d like to see peach-logoed bags for shoppers to put in their selections, take home and reuse the bags — with Jersey peaches always in front of them.”

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