At the beginning of October, our team put on our cowboy boots and headed to Nashville, Tennessee for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) – a three-day educational and networking event for registered dietitians. Our booth in the expo hall, which featured a branded frozen raspberry photo booth with a frozen raspberry backdrop, was a hit – to say the very least.
By Brad Rader
2015 will long be remembered as one of the most difficult seasons for Washington’s raspberries growers. Growers who are making re-planting decisions now or in the near future are left to wonder, “Are raspberries in my future, or is it time to switch to another crop?” I think processed raspberry growers around the world are having these same discussions based on changing weather patterns, limited land suitable to profitable raspberry production, and the lack of new varieties adapted to less than optimal growing conditions. I firmly believe that this is the time to stay in raspberries!
Hard to believe it has only been a year since our marketing communications partner joined the raspberry team. Over the last year we have chronicled in this newsletter the Team’s plans and resulting accomplishments. Admittedly, it may seem as progress has been slow, but that is not the case. Over the course of the first year, results validate the vision and strategy adopted by the Council show that challenges are being successfully overcome. Early on, we viewed our quest as “To Infinity and Beyond.” But why stop there? Simply stated, our goal has become “Beyond Infinity.”
Measurement of the effectiveness of a marketing and public relations program is not easy. Typical metrics cannot be used when determining if activity designed to build awareness of processed raspberries and to educate users about their benefits and advantages over the long-term has achieved its goals. The Council conducted a consumer survey earlier this year to establish baseline values for attitudes about processed raspberries, and to quantify usage and awareness relative to competing fruits, and will conduct similar surveys among foodservice and food manufacturers this year. These surveys will be conducted again in a few years to see if the needle has been moved.