Favoring ‘Fresh from Florida’

The Fresh From Florida brand is sought after in both the United States and internationally.

“One look and consumers, retailers, and wholesalers know this tropical fruit is domestically grown,” says Mary Ostund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals, LLC BB #:110555 in Homestead.

Ostlund is also super fan of local product from Miami-Dade County, sold under the Redland Raised brand.

“I love the addition of the Redland Raised label,” she says, believing it adds not only further distinction, but “a more personal touch.”

Redland Raised began as a subcategory of the Fresh From Florida branding program, with both state and county funding.

“The mantra was that no one wanted to veer too far from Fresh From Florida,” said Charles LaPradd, agricultural manager for Miami-Dade County. “Growers are using it on their purchase materials, which was the point—that it would be a brand they would develop.”

Today, Redland Raised has not only caught on but is bona fide hit.

“Local restaurants have pushed very hard the last couple years,” LaPradd says. “Redland Raised is a calling card for chefs who center [their menus around] local produce.”

For area retailers wanting to capitalize on the local craze, Redland Raised is the way to go.

“Some markets desire it and care more about it than others; it can depend on whether the retailer makes it an integral part of its marketing strategy to provide that connection to the farm and region,” adds LaPradd.

Offering recipes and meal tips is another facet of the broader Fresh From Florida branding program, which has been wildly successful in raising awareness. A survey found that within two years of sharing recipes featuring Florida produce, consumer awareness rose from 40 to 76 percent.

“During that time,” Lisa Lochridge, director of public affairs for the Maitland-based Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA), BB #:153753 said, “retail partnership programs reached more than 60 million consumers and generated, on average, $125 million in additional cash receipts annually. The Fresh From Florida brand has become recognized worldwide.”

She says the label can be found in 10,000 domestic stores, 35 domestic chains, 4,400 international stores, and 31 international chains.

This is a multi-part spotlight feature on Florida produce adapted from the October 2019 issue of Produce Blueprints.