The Quebec Produce Marketing Association has implemented a new marketing plan for the “I Love” campaign, focusing more on public relations and partners in the industry. Opportunities for industry to participate and help in the promotion of fresh produce are numerous.
As part of the plan, a new key message for consumers has been introduced: “Eat better, one serving at a time.” The purpose of the message is to reinforce how easy it is to add an extra portion of fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks every day and will be applied to all QPMA’s communications and marketing strategies.
QPMA has had a very busy year to date according to QPMA President and CEO of Les Serres du Saint-Laurent (Savoura), Marie Gosselin. In addition to the multiple industry issues files managed by QPMA, various committees are now in place for growers, distributors, wholesalers and retail to discuss common issues. “The team at QPMA worked hard to put this in place,” said Gosselin. “It’s going very well.”
Gosselin also noted some key networking events for the association on the horizon as well as recent successes. QPMA’s 2014 Texas Hold’em and Cocktail evening welcomed 350 guests and raised $20,000 for the “I love 5 to 10 servings a day” campaign. “It’s a good place to network, meet people in the industry and have fun,” said Gosselin. A new highlight this year was the presentation of four scholarships totaling $5,000 to winners of a recipe contest using fresh Quebec produce. The contestants were final-year students at the Quebec Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management and are expected to be future chefs. QPMA organized the competition as a way of encouraging the use of Quebec-grown fruits and vegetables in the province’s hotel, restaurant and institutional sector.
“We are taking more of a leadership role in working more closely with foodservice,” said QPMA Executive Director Sophie Perreault. “We’ve partnered with the Quebec government, taking the lead and making sure fruit and vegetables are on the menu not only at restaurants but in schools, hospitals and more.”
The “I love 5 to 10 servings a day” campaign is designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle and to increase produce sales as a result. Gosselin said it is still very successful after 10 years of existence, because the promotional campaign has a strong reputation among consumers.
A dedicated website, an ever-growing Facebook fan page (facebook.com/jaime5a10), sponsorships of key events including CIBC Run for the Cure, DUX Program, Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament and Sports Challenge, as well as partnerships with mothersforlife.com, and an IGA Blog partnership, are just some of the key initiatives.
QPMA invites industry members to submit recipes for their consumer website, which in turn is shared on social media and via their various partnerships, media in Quebec and consumer shows. Participating companies can include their logo, recipe, and url at no charge for QPMA members.
Another key networking event for the industry, is the association’s annual golf tournament, which was held on July 18 at the Parcours du Cerf in Longueuil. This year’s event donated $5,000 to the Leucan of Quebec City to help children with cancer and their families have a brighter future. QPMA hosted 350 guests for the popular post-tournament dinner where the day’s top golfers were announced and approximately 60 gifts valued at $400 each were provided by sponsors.
August brings the annual QPMA Convention from the 21st to the 23rd at the Fairmont Manoir Richelieu in Charlevoix. Along with networking and education opportunities, the convention will name the “Pillar of the Quebec Industry” — an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the industry. A new product showcase is an opportunity for industry to highlight and promote their companies, products and services to the more than 550 attendees expected.