Chairman Johnson: Two Years of Innovation and Success

Two years ago this month, the Department launched a game-changing eCommerce marketing program to drive sales of Florida Orange Juice at retail. While the shift was rooted in trends of the time, we had no way of knowing then that this program, along with the debut of “The Original Wellness Drink” campaign, would help see our industry through a seismic shift in the way Americans live, work and shop. Not only has online shopping grown at a faster rate than expected during this time but consumers have placed a renewed focus on seeking out foods and beverages that contribute to overall wellbeing.

Today, this shift continues to pay off. Since July, the Department’s eCommerce program has driven more than $29.1 million in attributed sales of Florida Orange Juice, reaching 97% of its sales goals for the 2021-22 season with nearly six months remaining in the campaign. These results are updated weekly and shared online via the Department’s dashboard where results are broken down by retailer.

While the eCommerce partnerships with both national and regional grocery retailers continue to be the foundation of the Department’s marketing programs, driving awareness of Florida Orange juice remains crucial for keeping OJ top of mind, especially among lapsed buyers.

One of the ways the Department does this is through social media. In this past week, our highest engagement numbers on Pinterest were driven by lapsed OJ buyers enticed by our nutritional messaging and recipes. This remains a crucial audience for the industry as research shows those who have not purchased OJ in the last 30 days are the most likely to return to purchase if provided a reason to do so.

On Instagram, a reel (short video) produced by Florida Orange Juice partner and influencer account Primal Gourmet reached nearly a million views over the holidays. Featuring a recipe for Bistec de Pollo with Florida OJ, the caption includes health messaging and encourages consumers to visit the Primal Gourmet blog post where a link to purchase Florida Orange Juice is available.

You can hear more about this and all work the Department is doing at the first Florida Citrus Commission meeting of 2022 on Jan. 19 at 9 a.m. in Bartow.

But before then, the Department is hosting a live webinar on Jan. 13 at 11 a.m. to provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the eCommerce program works. Join Meredith Nelsen, Senior VP of Performance Intelligence-DXI at Edelman, Inc., as she walks us through how and why these technology-driven tactics work.

Happy New Year and cheers (with a glass of Florida OJ) to continued success in 2022!

Steve Johnson is Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, which oversees the Florida Department of Citrus. He is the owner and general manager of Johnson Harvesting, Inc., based in Wauchula, FL.