National Watermelon Promotion Board continues focus in fall, winter

National Watermelon Promotion Board continues focus in fall, winter

On the heels of strategic planning and virtual Board meeting, which took place October 23, National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) is entering in to the fall and winter months well-positioned to strengthen demand for watermelon.

Considering more than 30% of watermelon is consumed in the fall/winter months, year-round promotion is an integral part of NWPB programs.
 
While each department at the Board has a different audience – including consumer, foodservice, retail and international – consistent programming strategies throughout the fall and winter months will focus on leveraging partnerships, serving as a resource, educating about watermelon’s health and versatility benefits, and maximizing social platform engagement.

Not an exhaustive list, activity highlights by department include:
 
Communications

  • "How do you WINTERmelon" consumer social campaign utilizing influencer partnerships and earned media PR tactics to visualize watermelon in the winter usage ideas and versatility benefits
  • National paid feature syndication with winter-focus "Add Fruit Flavors to Fun Holiday Desserts” suggesting watermelon in nontraditional winter kitchen dishes
  • Dietitian education, inspiration and “edutainment” through FNCE virtual expo and culinary demo, highlighting RD Toolkit, Zero Food Waste and Watermelon Flavor Pairings
  • New launch of Jump with Jill multimedia educator portal with lesson worksheets built on existing watermelon partner videos for teachers and parents at home or in classrooms
  • Influencer social partnerships with Produce for Kids/Healthy Family Project, Kim Rose Dietitian, Fannetastic Food, Ana Quincoces and Pam Smith highlighting versatility and health benefits of watermelon year round
  • Shooting new TV commercial content focusing on both wellness and happiness, to be advertised on YouTube and other streaming content channels

Foodservice

  • Print, digital and social media advertising with predominant foodservice publications to reach foodservice operators traditionally reached at events
  • New yield tool showcasing dice, wedge, juice and other formats yield from different watermelon sizes so chefs can easily switch between mini and seedless watermelon
  • Chef’s Roll partnership to create technique and recipe videos featuring popular watermelon formats including dice, wedge, juice, julienne rind, etc. to be shared through Chef’s Roll and used by the NWPB to educate and inspire operators
  • Virtual Flavor Experience conference to highlight watermelon’s year-round availability and versatility on foodservice menus
  • Partner with StarChefs to host a recipe contest to engage with no less than 200 chefs, build our recipe database and spotlight champions of watermelon
  • Retail & International Marketing
  • Year-round retailer activations via domestic and international retail account management team
  • Continued distribution of Retail Kit in print and digital formats
  • Independent grocer outreach via Live. Balanced wellness activation kit planned for early 2021
  • Retail dietitian and retailer education outreach through virtual platforms
  • Presence at virtual conferences, trade shows and networking events

“For many years, the NWPB has been tasked with promoting watermelon all twelve months of the year,” said Mark Arney, Executive Director for the NWPB. “Watermelon’s health benefits and versatility lends itself to everything from Halloween carvings to holiday punch to elevated usage ideas.”

The next NWPB Board meeting, where staff will recommend marketing programs and the Board will vote on a budget for the 2021-2022 year, will take place virtually on Saturday, March 6, 2021. For more information or specifics about individual departments, contact Stephanie Barlow, Senior Director of Communications at [email protected]