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As a result of a highly targeted regional promotion, Tanimura & Antle, based in Salinas, CA, is seeing an increase in sales and retailer interest in the company's innovative "Living Lettuce" product.

Leveraging a creative Live from Tennessee theme, Tanimura & Antle's promotion included a direct-mail program, promotional web site, advertising campaign and sales team support to communicate directly with produce buyers. The results-oriented effort has gained 13 new accounts and an impressive increase in individual customer sales.

"The messages and creativity in this promotion hit home with retailers. They see the advantage of carrying regional produce and a unique item that helps set their store apart," Rick Antle, chief executive officer, said in a June 17 press release.

To kick off the promotion, 150 key produce buyers in the Southeast received a premium direct-mail piece, including a retro-style microphone that played a pre-recorded message directing recipients to a promotional web site, www.talivinglettuce.com.

Site analytics detected a significant amount of traffic, and Tanimura & Antle's regional sales manager received several inquires facilitated by the web site. Regional print and national on-line advertisements ran in key media with a consistent theme and call to action, resulting in a steady stream of web site visitors and increased product awareness.

Using regenerative farming practices that help sustain and protect the environment, “Living Lettuce” is grown hydroponically in Tanimura & Antle's state-of-the-art greenhouse in Tennessee. Harvested and packaged with the roots intact for maximum freshness, “Living Lettuce” provides a shelf life of 20 days and ease of merchandising in its protective "mini greenhouse" clamshell, according to the release. Consumer research conducted nationally among premium lettuce purchasers found that an overwhelming 86 percent of consumers who try “Living Lettuce” are likely to purchase it if available at their local grocer.