Consumer demand for watermelon, especially fresh-cut watermelon, has increased over the past year, said Stephanie Barlow, senior director of communications for the National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) based in Winter Springs, Florida.
In 2022, the board continues its efforts to explore additional digital avenues to reach the consumer “in their buying journey,” said Juliemar Rosado, director of retail and international marketing.
New this year, NWPB plans to work with mobile media company Genesis to provide immersive “App>Less” storytelling.
“Total marketing efforts are even more important as consumer habits change and the retail space changes with it,” Rosado said. “It is important to look at overall promotional efforts at the retail level during the customer journey to purchase as well as inside the store, especially in this new normal.”
The NWPB has also started to implement commercial recipes. As the number of consumers buying groceries online continues to grow, it’s critical to engage with those shoppers and make it easier to add watermelon to their online shopping carts, Rosado said.
By implementing purchasable recipes technology on Watermelon.org, NWPB will open all recipes and ingredients for purchase directly on the website – connecting consumers to retailers with just a few clicks.
The council’s spring and summer drinking program focuses on the value and benefits of watermelon’s versatility with the launch of Use the Whole Watermelon 2.0. campaign, Barlow said. “We will educate, influence and spread the 100% edible and Zero Food Waste message to media, educators, healthcare professionals and consumers through digital, print and streaming media,” she said. “The Use the Whole Watermelon story will be updated with new branding and a new campaign landing page where consumers can virtually break down a watermelon to understand its parts, benefits and how to use each delicious morsel.”
Additionally, up-to-date and trending instructional and inspirational videos will visualize the butchering and cooking process, Barlow said. The virtual experiences will be designed for consumers and professional audiences like media and dietitians, as well as engaging influencer partners to share inspiration throughout the year. Paid social media and streaming ads will reach targeted audiences to redirect them to the landing page and continue the journey.
“Using the whole watermelon is the ultimate encapsulation to tell the value of watermelon and the story of sustainability, enabling NWPB to break down barriers to purchase and double down on education for multi-use, zero waste and bark,” she said. “The sustainability message specifically refers to reducing a consumer’s food waste footprint by using the whole watermelon, creating less waste in the home and less waste in the landfill.”
The following five NWPB marketing tips are for retailers looking to optimize watermelon sales:
1. Make the most of your customers’ buying journey.
Use in-store displays – Colorful bins and large displays grab attention and drive sales. Also include digital, social media marketing, and video components that reach customers beyond the brick-and-mortar element. Visit http://www.watermelon.org/retailers for more information.
2. Whole watermelon is edible.
One of the biggest barriers to buying watermelon is that it’s “too big/inconvenient”, highlighting the need to educate consumers about all the ways watermelon can be used in recipes. using the flesh, juice and rind, as well as incorporating fresh cuts and mini watermelons. to maximize convenience.
3. Display the whole and cut watermelon side by side.
This creates great visual appeal and can increase sales of both. Plus, the Watermelon Queen’s in-store promotions are a great way to educate and promote watermelon. These young women are smart, educated and bring something unique to the produce aisle. They can help that hesitant customer choose the best watermelon.
4. Spread the word – Watermelon is delicious and nutritious.
Most consumers would buy watermelon in the future if they knew it was healthy and nutritious for them. Try to include nutrition information wherever you can – on signs and displays, in social media posts, newsletters or advertisements.
5. Give customers what they crave all year round.
It offers year-round sales, even in cold climates. Keeping watermelon in mind all year round is another key ingredient to increase the demand for watermelon. During the import season, there is a push for the fresh cut to keep the product top of mind. While it’s understandable that there aren’t necessarily tubs of whole watermelon to show off, it’s still a great moisturizer, nutritious, wonderful in seasonal recipes during import season, and always an excellent on-the-go snack, freshly cut or juiced.
NWPB Holds Retail Merchandising Contest
The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) invites all retail chains, independent retailers and commissioners to submit entries for its 14th Annual Watermelon Merchandising Contest. The 2022 contest continues its transition to a watermelon merchandising effort that includes in-store displays, but also encourages mixed merchandising tactics that can include social, digital, print and web marketing.
The contest will begin in July to honor National Watermelon Month and will run through August. The competition aims to identify retailers that showcase the benefits of watermelon, including health, value, and versatility.
Over $10,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the top entrants, including $5,000 to the grand prize winner. The second place winner will receive $2,500, the third place winner will receive $1,000 and three honorable mentions will each receive $500.