N.J. Peach Promotion Council: 'Peach Parties' increasingly popular with retail and other outlets
by Christina DiMartino | July 11, 2010
Pegi Adam, director of communications for the New Jersey Peach Promotion
Council in Clayton, NJ, said in late June that 2010 marks the fifth year the
organization has promoted its "Peach Parties" events.
Celebrated during August, which is New Jersey Peach Month, the parties are
gaining in popularity each year with retailers, farmers markets and
foodservice operators. Although the council is a non-profit, non-
governmental agency, it works closely with the New Jersey Department of
Agriculture to promote the Jersey Fresh locally grown initiative.
"We try to be flexible with our promotional programs," Ms. Adam told The
Produce News June 28. "Some participants call their event the 'Peach Party,'
while others chose different titles and change the event details, such as
including contests and demos. However, they all share the goal of promoting
'Jersey Fresh' peaches."
Participating restaurants, for example, are asked to feature one recipe using
New Jersey peaches throughout August -- but some do much more.
"Last year, New Jersey chefs supplied recipes for our promotion, and some
demonstrated their dish at farmers markets that held 'Peach Parties,'" she
noted. "One restaurant created an entire menu using peaches - from soups
and salads to main courses and, of course, desserts -- and ran the menu
throughout the month. Another even created a peach-infused cocktail, which
was a big hit with patrons."
In 2009, 13 farmers markets and 28 restaurants across New Jersey
participated in the August promotion, and Ms. Adam expects even more to
join in this year.
Retail interest in the promotional opportunities is also growing each year. In
order to strengthen awareness of New Jersey peaches while at the same time
give retailers a value-added shopper incentive, the council offers an easy
turnkey promotion to benefits stores, shoppers and New Jersey peaches. The
promotion includes a shopper drawing for a $25 gift certificate to the store. The council will supply entry blanks with wording that states, "Buy three
pounds of 'Jersey Fresh' peaches and fill out the entry blank for a chance to
win." Stores can post the entry pad by the Jersey peach bin with brochures,
also supplied by the council, stuck into the bins. The council suggests that
participating retailers place the promotional banner across the bins.
"Stores will able to download 'Jersey Fresh' peach price cards from the web
site and peach recipe cards that can be printed by the stores to each one's
specifications," Ms. Adam added. "Entry blanks will include instructions to
visit the Peach Promotion Council's web site for recipes and more peach
Acme Markets will use the "Peach Party" term in its 2010 campaign at its 65
retail locations throughout southern New Jersey. The stores will offer
brochures and recipe books and will display banners in its produce
"Acme will also hold an event on two Saturdays in August at chosen store
locations," said Ms. Adam. "The stores will decorate their parking lots, and the
2010 peach queen will be in attendance. Peach samples will be handed out,
and there will be a giveaway of a basket of peaches."
Distributors are also on the New Jersey peach promotion bandwagon this year.
Bozzuto's Inc., based in Cheshire, CT, is a leading wholesale distributor of
food and household products to retailers from New England to Maryland. The
company is asking several of its sales representatives to offer the promotion
to its customers.
Wakefern, a cooperative that supplies 190 ShopRite grocery stores in the
Northeast, has also expressed interest in a turnkey peach promotion this year.
Ms. Adam said that as of late June, she still had about 10 additional retailers
to visit who have expressed interest in a turnkey promotion.
"Turnkeys are easy for everyone to participate in," she said. "They require
limited effort and investment, but they send a strong message to consumers."
Farmers markets are major promoters of Jersey peaches each year, and Ms.
Adam said that many put their own spin on their campaign in August.
"Last year, the Collingswood Farmers Market in south Jersey included face
paintings," she said. "Participating restaurant chefs did cooking demos, there
was music, a story reading of James and the Giant Peach, and the peach
queen was there to greet people. This year we expect the promotion to be
even stronger, and we may even have Douglas H. Fisher, New Jersey's
secretary of agriculture, there to talk about what's so good about Jersey
New this year, the council will run radio advertisements, and it has issued
press releases to media organizations. Ms. Adam said that the council hopes
that television networks will support the campaign as strongly as in the past.
"Produce Pete did a peach segment on his Weekend Today show on NBC last
year," Ms. Adam said, referring to Pete Napolitano.
"Ed Hitzel of Hitzel A La Carte television segment on NBC interviewed chefs on
what they are doing for Jersey Peach Month," she added. "Also last year,
meteorologist Mike Woods, the WNYW Fox 5 television station weatherman in
New York City, came to Jersey City and broadcast the weather report from a
farmers market that was having a 'Peach Party.' One participating restaurant
prepared a peach tart. Mike interviewed the chef and sampled the tart."
The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is also trying to provide an umbrella
for organizations such as churches. Ms. Adam said that one church group, for
example, contacted the council about having a "Peach Party" of its own as a
"These are great venues for promoting New Jersey peaches," she said. "We
want to reach out to as many as possible to help them and at the same time
help to promote state-grown peaches."
She concluded, "Peaches are being harvested now, and reports are that this
year's crop will be abundant and extremely high quality. There will be plenty
of New Jersey peaches to support our promotional efforts and for consumers
(For more on New Jersey peaches, see the July 12, 2010, issue of The Produce