U.S.: FNV brand aims to go national in mid-2016 - FreshFruitPortal.com

U.S.: FNV brand aims to go national in mid-2016

With promising responses in lead markets, an overarching fruit and veggie brand is on track for a U.S.-wide rollout in a few months' time.

Since its launch in February last year with a model of free celebrity support, FNV has had 651.56 million impressions on social media, while attitudes to fruits and vegetables have been changing as well in the lead markets of Fresno, California and Hampton Roads, Virginia.

"From the control group, 6.6% said they were definitely not planning to eat a fruit or a vegetable in the next week, and then we compared that to people who were exposed to FNV and that number went down to 3.3%," FNV director Dana DeSantis told www.freshfruitportal.com.

Tennis star Serena Williams is just one of the celebrities serving up FNV. Photo: Edwin Martinez, via Wikimedia Commons

Tennis star Serena Williams is just one of the celebrities serving up FNV. Photo: Edwin Martinez, via Wikimedia Commons

"What we’re seeing as a result of that campaign is we’ve cut that number in half. We’re really excited about opening people up to fruits and vegetables," she said, adding there had been increases of people saying they would definitely eat produce in the next week, at rates of 5% for desktop responses and 8% for mobile.

"We’re trying to draw that emotional connection between our audience – a large target is millennials but really it’s just anyone receiving the ad; we're trying to make sure they’re viewing fruits and veggies as cool, just like the biggest brands are doing."

The brand has now signed on almost 60 celebrities, including Serena Williams, and is about to take its presence up a notch.

"We’re looking to expand the campaign nationally...we're actively seeking partners to help us go national," DeSantis said, adding that since the Produce Marketing Association's (PMA) Fresh Summit two new partners had come on board - Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Spartan.

"What we would plan on taking national first is the digital and social. Then as we continue to add funding to the campaign, you’ll see more components of a campaign going national like TV, then print, then radio."

She said with current attitudinal rating levels, a full-scale national campaign would reach more than 100 million people through 3.6 billion media impressions, creating more than nine million new produce customers.

She said her team was also choosing another city for in-market advertising, building off the successes in Fresno and Hampton Roads.

"The city focus helps us go deep, so when we commit to a city we include things like out-of-home billboards, ads, we include elements in-store so we’ll partner with local retailers so when you enter a store you’re seeing FNV ads not only in produce but throughout the store," she said.

She said thanks to free support from a wide range of entities, including media, celebrities and even some grocers, FNV has been able to "essentially build a campaign that has eight times the value of what was invested in the campaign".

"That’s really exciting for us as we’re looking to continue rolling this out," she said.