Chairman Johnson Column – April 16, 2021

By Steve Johnson, Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission

As Florida Citrus growers, placing a bottle of orange juice in our shopping cart is a no brainer. We know it tastes great. We know it has multiple health benefits. We know the oranges are grown with care and are worthy of the price tag attached to them. Frankly, we are the ideal OJ consumer. But, for the average busy American, deciding whether to purchase orange juice is not so simple. There are dozens of choices in the beverage aisle and beyond. And hundreds of companies advertising. Why choose Florida OJ? The answer may be different for every consumer.

Right message. Right time. Right place. These are the elements that Department of Citrus Global Marketing Director Samantha Lane and her team are focused on. Not every message nor every channel is going to resonate with every consumer. And what works best for each individual may change depending on the time of day. This is why diverse and robust marketing programs are necessary. In Samantha’s presentation in front of the Commission last month, she highlighted some of the ways FDOC is doing this.

For example, a banner ad that highlights the vitamin C content of OJ may resonate with a consumer as she shops for groceries online. A sunlit image of Florida Orange Juice on a Florida beach seen by a man as he groggily scrolls Facebook in the morning from bed may influence his breakfast decision. Or a blog post written by a popular influencer about how she incorporates the great taste of Florida OJ in her favorite family-friendly recipes may be just what one mom needs to encourage her to purchase later today at the store.  

At the end of the day, we aim to reach these consumers with a message customized to their life that successfully encourages them to purchase. The results of our e-commerce program show it is working. Since July, the campaign has reached 355 million impressions and driven $17.7 million in sales with a Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of $9.22.

It is important to remember that these results are strong thanks to the FDOC marketing campaign as a whole, as portrayed in the examples above, even when a component doesn’t directly drive sales. The person who sees that sunlit image of OJ on the beach may purchase orange juice at a convenience store as he gets gas that morning or be more receptive to a direct push to purchase later in the week when they are retargeted with a banner ad on Instacart. The e-commerce element is absolutely critical, especially as consumers continue to shop with COVID in mind and change their shopping methods for good. But it can’t be executed in a silo.

We also know that what consumers see from us today may impact their behavior in the future. This was evident by the increase in sales of OJ throughout the pandemic. Decades of scientific research supported messages about the health benefits of OJ to consumers. When consumers began to seek out foods and beverages that would contribute to immune support this time last year, they immediately turned to orange juice.

Investments made today fuel the results of tomorrow. We have momentum now, but we must continue to deploy at the right time, the right place and with the right message if we hope to keep to carry it forward.

Originally published in the Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle