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Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. announced in mid-June the launch of "Buy a bunch, lose a bunch," an integrated marketing campaign that aims to engage consumers with Del Monte's motto, "Eat healthy, live healthy."

The initiative focuses on bananas, the most purchased fresh fruit by U.S. consumers, as an affordable diet staple to lose and maintain weight. "Buy a bunch, lose a bunch" kicks off the first day of summer, when consumers are looking to trim extra pounds and get into great shape for summertime fun.

The new campaign "combines traditional in-store signage with social and mobile media to connect with consumers in our fast-paced, changing marketplace," Dennis Christou, Del Monte Fresh Produce Co.'s vice president of marketing for North America, said in a June 16 press release. "There is no magic bullet to weight loss, but bananas can be an integral part to a nutritious low-calorie diet. Their affordability and popularity put them within reach for any consumer."

The initiative involves a number of on-line and off-line components. On-line, Del Monte is offering five trips for two to the Banana Beach Resort in Belize. One trip will be given away along with $100 gift cards in a sweepstakes run through supermarket retailers and www.fruits.com. The retail promotion will be supported with a series of new banana stickers and in-store signage highlighting the sweepstakes and driving consumers on-line.

Four additional trips will be given through Del Monte's new Facebook page, "Fan of Bananas" (www.facebook.com/fanofbananas), in a Diet Challenge Sweepstakes, where consumers are encouraged to learn more about bananas and healthy eating. By completing a series of four challenges that range from sharing a recipe and photo to taking a survey, users are entered into the sweepstakes drawing for the trips, and will have a chance at other prizes. Twitter users can engage in the promotion via the handle @fanofbananas.

The Diet Challenge Sweepstakes will kick off with a Twitter party, hosted by @MomCentral. With over 16,000 followers, the partnership with MomCentral will allow a socially active group of people interested in healthy eating to learn about the campaign and how bananas contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Participants will also be able to win some fun banana-related prizes by retweeting information and answering quiz questions.

Del Monte is also reaching mobile consumers with the launch of the Del Monte Fresh Lifestyles application for iPhone and BlackBerry users. The app will feature recipes and product information, diet information and tools, fun games for adults and kids, and downloadable coupons for bananas and other Del Monte fresh fruits and vegetables (available for free at the iPhone App Store and BlackBerry App World).

Additional Facebook programs will offer more chances for consumers to engage and win prizes, including live chats with a nutritionist and fitness tips from experts. The page will also provide coupons, recipes, diet and nutrition tips, trivia and general information on bananas. Del Monte views activity within social media as long-term community building for banana enthusiasts to share ideas and experiences.

"Staying fit is not a trend, it's a lifestyle. We want our consumers to feel empowered to eat fresh and to be healthy," Mr. Christou said in the release. "The Facebook Banana Diet Challenge and Del Monte Fresh Lifestyles app are tools to help jumpstart a new, healthy lifestyle."