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By Ned Hancock, Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission

As members of this industry, we all know that Florida Orange Juice is special. Not only does it taste great, it provides vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. Most of us can list these attributes off the top of our heads: vitamin C, potassium, folate, no added sugar. Decades of research have also given us the ability to tout orange juice’s role in heart health, brain health and supporting the immune system.

With so much to offer, the desire to shout it from the rooftops is understandable. And, we should. After all, Dr. Ron Ward has told us many times now that consumers care about the positive attributes of OJ much more than any negative ones. But, we must do so responsibly.

As the Department of Citrus’ Dr. Rosa Walsh told us in a webinar this week, we must be sure our messages accurately reflect the current science. This is important in maintaining the trust of both consumers and health professionals.

In the webinar, Dr. Walsh takes a deep dive into the research on vitamin C and immunity, explaining how we can apply the vitamin C research to messaging around orange juice. However, the complexities of immune system research make crafting a simple message about orange juice a difficult, though not impossible, task.

She shares several examples of the results of teamwork between FDOC’s global marketing and scientific research teams on consumer messaging – providing a glimpse into the art of crafting compelling content that is both effective and accurate.

Dr. Walsh also explains the types of research, ongoing and recent orange juice-related projects, and how this is all considered when it comes to messaging. If you missed the webinar, I encourage you to view the recording available here.

Earlier this week, the Commission met telephonically to address a budget reduction and transfer. The Commission voted unanimously to reduce line items in the FDOC budget by $284,000. These line items included employee travel, which has been reduced due to COVID-19, as well as unspent funds, which are typically available at this time of year, in scientific research, reactive issues management, repairs and maintenance, temporary employees, and training. These reductions allowed the Commission to vote to move $277,000 to global marketing to extend and enhance digital, social and e-commerce programs through the end of June.

On the e-commerce front, the FDOC campaign to drive sales of 100% OJ continues. Since its launch in January, the program has driven more than $3.3 million in attributed sales of 100% orange juice, reached 244 million impressions and provided a Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) of $4.24.

The next Florida Citrus Commission meeting will take place on May 20 at 9 a.m. virtually via a Zoom link available at FDOCGrower.com.

The FDOC is holding its next webinar on Thursday, May 28 at 11 a.m. The webinar will be presented by Bennett Travers, of Edible, and focus on consumer behavior as a result of COVID-19 and the potential implications for 100% orange juice now and in the future. Details available here.

Originally published in the Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle