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In support of the produce industry’s efforts to drive demand for more fresh produce, Produce Marketing Association announces a strategic alliance with the Entertainment Resource & Marketing Association (ERMA)–the association of entertainment marketing professionals–to bring fresh produce center stage through television shows, movies and online entertainment.
As part of the alliance, ERMA has agreed to advocate the use of fresh produce in entertainment production and track that use. PMA has agreed to assist ERMA to make generic, fresh produce available as those entertainment opportunities arise. Produce companies that may want to feature specific products or brands will still be able to use product placement companies to do so. ERMA members work on product placement.
Part of the team who solidified the agreement with ERMA was Jin Ju Wilder, director of corporate strategy for Valley Fruit and Produce Company and PMA board director. “Movies, shows, and celebrities influence what consumers purchase and how they behave, so getting more fresh fruits and vegetables on-screen and in the hands of actors can help make produce cool to consumers,” she says. “ERMA’s members were very enthusiastic about being part of PMA’s multi-pronged approach and were confident that fresh produce could be incorporated in multiple entertainment channels, making fresh fruits and vegetables ubiquitous on-screen. I’m excited to see what can result from this alliance as it is clear that ERMA members have the expertise and the influence to make it happen.”
ERMA President Michael Schrager notes that using more fresh produce can fit easily into shows, whether its use is plot-driven or ancillary, like fruit on a kitchen counter or a conversation that takes place in a produce department. “When popular characters choose produce from the store, the fridge, or the restaurant menu as part of their everyday interactions, viewers will identify with that as the right way to eat. By identifying shows with school age characters we hope we can help move today’s youth to a healthier lifestyle and lessen the incidence of problems such as childhood obesity,” he says. “Our members have a proven track record and can help make that happen.”
This partnership is one of several ongoing demand creation efforts by PMA to improve consumers’ health and combat childhood obesity. In 2013, Sesame Workshop and PMA joined PHA to launch the eat brighter! movement. The initiative promotes fresh fruit and vegetable consumption to kids ages two to five by allowing PMA’s community of growers, suppliers and retailers to utilize the strength and influence of the Sesame Street brand without a licensing fee. And, earlier this year, PMA contributed $1 million on behalf of the fresh produce industry to support PHA’s launch of FNV. Shorthand for fruits and vegetables, FNV is a brand focused on increasing consumption and sales of produce among teens and moms.
PMA’s president, Cathy Burns says, “I’m very excited to add this strategic alliance to our existing efforts to use marketing—in its broadest terms—to create greater demand for fresh produce. This effort joins eat brighter! and FNV as new ways to put produce in front of consumers and ultimately drive fresh produce demand for our members.”
“We know that kids are very much influenced by the brands they see in movies, on TV and in the hands of celebrities,” says PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “Collaborations like the one between PMA and ERMA help market fruits and veggies in creative, engaging ways that get families and kids more excited about eating them.”