August 14, 2019

Media Partnership Kicks off Prune Harvest Encouraging Consumers to Experience the Delicious Versatility of California Prunes

ROSEVILLE, CALIF.  – California Prune growers are preparing for harvest which will soon turn the peaceful orchards into a flurry of activity. This year’s crop is forecast at 110,000 tons according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The 2019 harvest is expected to begin slightly later than usual and will likely conclude by mid-September.

“We are on track for a healthy crop this year and the fruit is setting up to be the exceptional quality for which California is known”, says Joe Turkovich, California Prune grower and Chairman of the California Prune Board (CPB). “Growers have reduced fruit loads on their trees to yield larger sizes at harvest. In addition, we patiently wait for the fruit to reach the proper maturity to harvest. This is another key component to achieve the signature flavor and sweetness for which California Prunes are recognized.”

With the ideal growing conditions of lush valleys and endless sun, California is the world’s largest producer of prunes providing approximately 40 percent of the world’s supply and 99 percent of the U.S. supply. Today, there are about 48,000 acres of California Prune orchards concentrated in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.

bin of prune plums

California Prunes Build Momentum with New Brand

This year’s harvest is unique as it falls on the heels of the California Prunes new brand debut earlier this spring. As part of the brand development process, the CPB conducted a benchmark study among U.S. prune consumers which found that digestive health benefits and taste are the top drivers of purchase, consumption and consideration. The new California Prunes brand is built on four key “pillars” – the premium nature of California Prunes, unique and delectable taste, surprising versatility, and an ever-expanding role in a healthy life. The California Prunes logo and tagline, “Prunes. For life.” underscores these pillars and embraces the source of origin while positioning California Prunes as a daily food choice for every age group.

“Our research suggested that prune-eaters generally have a positive outlook and embrace ways to enjoy life and be in the moment regardless of generation – from millennials to baby boomers,” says Donn Zea, Executive Director of the California Prune Board. “All of our programs highlight prunes in unexpected ways intended to inspire all to enjoy California Prunes today – and every day.”

High-Profile Media Partnership Showcases California Prunes

To continue sharing the new California Prunes brand story, CPB is partnering with legacy lifestyle brand, Sunset Magazine, to highlight the fruit’s legendary taste and surprising versatility – from orchard to table.

To kick-off the program year, California Prunes is creating an experiential event for food bloggers and influential social media experts that showcases the journey from plum to prune and will culminate with an evening dinner at Sunset’s idyllic test kitchen and gardens in Sonoma, California. Earlier in the day, the group will tour a California Prune orchard during harvest, see the drying process firsthand, hear from a panel of growers, and have the chance to cook with a grower/trained chef, giving attendees a glimpse into the diverse culture of California Prunes.

“Our growers are the crux of everything we do,” adds Zea. “Their stories and their passion go a long way in educating the world about what makes California Prunes so unique.”

As part of the Sunset partnership, California Prunes will be featured the magazine’s September/October “harvest” issue via a print advertisement which will showcase a variety of savory and sweet flavor profiles that pair with California Prunes. Other elements of the partnership include a digital editorial feature and custom recipes created by Sunset’s editors, a month-long sponsorship of the Sunset.com Food & Drink channel, custom video series, and an integrated digital and social advertising campaign.

Year-Round MARKETING Programs Bolster Market Demand for California Prunes

The California Prunes brand story will continue to gain momentum throughout the year with a variety of marketing programs that target consumers, nutrition/health, and foodservice professionals. With continued investments in nutrition research to communicate the health benefits of California Prunes, CPB will engage registered dietitians to underscore the news that California Prunes are an important part of a healthy diet. Highlighting the nutritional benefits alongside consumer trends and culinary attributes of prunes, the CPB will also pursue engagement with foodservice professionals by inspiring new techniques and inclusion of California Prunes on menus.

As part of the comprehensive marketing program, California Prunes has also debuted a new website,  www.CaliforniaPrunes.org, featuring recipes, snacking inspiration, nutritional information, and industry resources. The new website reflects the new logo and imagery, while sharing the story of California Prunes, their premium nature, and an expansive view of all their benefits.

prune plums on tree

About the California Prune Board

Created in 1952, The California Prune Board aims to amplify the premium positioning and top-of-mind awareness of California Prunes through advertising, public relations, promotion, nutrition research, crop management and sustainability research, and issues management. The California Prune Board represents approximately 800 prune growers and 28 prune, juice, and ingredient handlers under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture.

 

For more information, contact:

Kiaran Locy
DIRECTOR OF BRAND & INDUSTRY COMMUNICATIONS
CALIFORNIA PRUNE BOARD

Ph. 916-749-3442  |  CaliforniaPrunes.org  |  [email protected]