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‘Healthy Living’ is Michigan Apple’s consumer focus

“Healthy Living” is the new positioning of the key promotion of the Michigan Apple Committee. The 2014 marketing effort is running from January to March.

In previous years, the program was run as “Health and Fitness” but the committee decided to emphasize lifestyle over a promotion that sounded more like a diet, indicated Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, which is based in Lansing, MI.

“‘Healthy Living’ is a good fit after the first of the year; after we all have the holidays under our belts, so to speak,” Smith said. “We are promoting a healthy lifestyle, not depriving ourselves” by eating more Michigan apples.

Because multiple freezes in the spring of 2012 essentially wiped out Michigan’s apple crop, there was virtually no fresh fruit to sell a year ago.

Thus, what would have been an early 2013 promotion was therefore, cancelled.

But the 2011 crop promotion offered treadmills in a consumer promotion giveaway, attracting 90,000 entries. The treadmills attracted more consumer interest than earlier years, when “Wii” games and “ITunes” were offered. The treadmill giveaway will continue in the 2014 promotion.

“Healthy Living” is being promoted through MAC’s website, directly to retailers and through the trade press and social media, Smith said.

“Kwik Lok” brand apple bag closures used by Michigan apple packers carry information for consumers to enter the treadmill sweepstakes.

Any national retailers can benefit from the “Healthy Living” promotion, Smith said. “We can customize the promotion to what is best for retailers.”

She noted that recipes tied into the promotion include an apple salsa, which ties in with the Super Bowl, giving consumers a healthy dip for football parties amid the MAC promotional period.