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By Ned Hancock, Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission

This week, the industry came together to not only celebrate National Orange Juice Day but to honor the people who are working tirelessly to keep us healthy, safe and fed during this time of crisis. The Department of Citrus kicked off a week of special social media posts Monday with an OJ toast to the frontlines and a request: Nominate an essential worker and tell us why you appreciate them.

Members of our industry helped spread the word with their own messages of celebration and thanks. Dr. Michael Rogers with UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center penned an op-ed in the Ledger. Florida Citrus Mutual and Florida Gulf Coast University shared video messages of thanks on social media. State Representative Melony Bell and Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried celebrated the day on social media along with hundreds of orange juice fans across the U.S.

The FDOC also engaged influential bloggers, such as The Full Helping and The Modern Dad, and registered dietitians, such as Alexis Joseph and Chris Mohr, to get involved in the celebration with their fans. And FDOC Executive Director Shannon Shepp highlighted National OJ Day in a segment on The Florida Channel.

As the week of celebration continued, the nominations came rolling in. It quickly became apparent how widespread our appreciation is for those on the frontlines. From the doctors and medical professionals keeping us healthy to the members of law enforcement and the military keeping us safe to the restaurant chefs, supermarket shelf stockers and farmers keeping us fed, the nominations spanned all facets of essential work and came from more than 30 states.

To date, there have been more than 225 nominations on FDOC’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts with consumers sharing photos and inspiring descriptions of their nominees. By the end of the week, the FDOC will have randomly selected more than 50 nominees to receive a Florida OJ gift package with the hope that it will serve as a small token of our appreciation for their work. Overall, the week of posts garnered more than 25,000 impressions with an engagement rate on Facebook 2,400 percent above industry standards.

The FDOC plans to continue the message of thanks in the coming weeks as it continues social media posts highlighting how we can all send some sunshine to those we miss and show support for others while staying home.

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 $3.1 million in attributed sales of 100% orange juice, reached 234 million impressions and provided a Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) of $4.12.

Commissioners will meet for a telephonic meeting on May 12 at 10 a.m. to discuss a budget transfer to increase marketing programs through the end of the fiscal year.

The FDOC is holding its next webinar on May 14 at 11 a.m. This webinar will be presented by Dr. Rosa Walsh with a focus on OJ research and messaging on immunity.

collage of people with orange juice for national orange juice day

Originally published in the Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle