PMA ENHANCES CONSUMER WEB SITE
e Marketing Association has upgraded the look and feel of its consumer Web site, www.aboutproduce.com. According to officials, the site's new navigation and menus allow users to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. In addition, many sections of the site are cross-linked so that users can find related information. Other enhancements include additional coloring pages for the "Produce Patch" kids' section, as well as new games; expanded search capabilities in the recipe section; links to commodity pages from within each recipe, allowing users to learn more about the purchase, storage and handling of each produce ingredient; and printer-friendly pages for all recipes. Launched in 2000 during National 5 A Day Week, aboutproduce.com has averaged 20,000 unique user sessions per month, while a free e-mail recipe club has more than 5,500 participants, officials said.
PEARS ON THE MOVE WITH NEW 'PACKER'
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Pear Bureau Northwest has introduced the new "Pear Packer," a recyclable midweight plastic container designed to protect pears from damage during consumer transport. According to Kevin Moffit, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit marketing group, the casing intersects with the consumer trend toward convenience and produce presentation by providing a way to protect and transport ready-to-eat pears in backpacks, lunch bags and briefcases. "I believe the likelihood of damage was limiting pears to an in-house fruit, and an idea for some kind of pear protector began to take form," he said. Programs are being developed to distribute the Pear Packer through retail promotions and other initiatives, he said.
2003 CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRIES GAIN A 'RED EDGE'
WATSONVILLE, CALIF. -- The California Strawberry Commission is reporting the 2003 season will include a 5% acreage increase and the introduction of a new marketing program titled the "Red Edge." Total acreage for 2003 is estimated at 28,230 acres, up 1,402 from the prior year. The Camarosa, Diamante and Ventana varieties are dominant, officials said. Organic strawberry acreage increased by 58.5%, with 607 acres -- including transitional crops -- planted throughout the state. In the marketing arena, CSC officials said the new "Red Edge" initiative is designed to drive consumption by linking the combined appeal of color, shape, taste and year-round availability with the emerging nutrition and health benefits derived from the fruit's vitamin C, fiber, folate, phytonutrients and antioxidants.