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The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) yesterday unveiled a new marketing campaign at its 2015 Building a Healthier Future Summit, arguing that fruits and vegetables deserve to have as robust a marketing push behind them as traditional CPG brands.

The new fresh produce brand, dubbed FNV, will be supported by commercials that were teased in a video that can be seen at left. The commercials will feature celebrities and athletes who support FNV, including actors Kristen Bell and Jessica Alba, WWE Superstar John Cena, musician Nick Jonas, New York Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz, Golden State Warriors Point Guard Stephen Curry, Memphis Grizzlies Forward Jeff Green, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton.

FNV is being pitched this way:

For years, fruits and veggies stood by passively as the marketing machine cranked full throttle, selling you everything from shoes to barbecues to shiny new sports cars. But now, we’re officially joining the party. Taking over billboards and airwaves. Enlisting athletes and celebs. Shamelessly pushing peaches and sweet potatoes onto the public. FNV is here, America. Prepare to be marketed to.

“FNV was inspired by big consumer brands, whose tactics are relentless, compelling, catchy and drive an emotional connection with their products,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We want to do the same thing for fruits and veggies, which have never had an opportunity to act like a big brand.”

Founding supporters of FNV include the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), Produce for Better Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a number of produce manufacturers and suppliers. PMA, for example, has approved a $1 million investment and the appointment of a marketing task force, comprised of produce industry executives, to support FNV.

KC's View:
Between this as the deal that PMA made with Sesame Street to use its characters to sell fresh fruits and vegetables, it seems like we've had sort of a sea change in terms of how the produce industry is making its case to consumers. I think that this is a good thing ... and all the companies involved are to be commended for understanding that smart and aggressive marketing is critical if they actually want to grow the business.