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Michigan Apple Committee uses grant funds to reach consumers

Specialty Crop Block Grant project focuses on online engagement

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Apple Committee continues to use Specialty Crop Block Grant funding as a way to reach target consumers. For the Fall 2018 campaign, that includes select social media platforms, online influencers and more video.  

“Through market research, we have determined that our primary target audience is women between the ages of 25 and 54. This audience is the number one user of our two most popular social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram. This year, we’ll be tapping into some of the special features of those platforms. In addition, we are working with more online influencers, to help us spread the word about fresh, quality Michigan-grown apples,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee.

For the second year, MAC is working with Piper & Gold Public Relations to implement the social media campaign, which kicks off mid-August and continues through the end of 2018.

“The grant funds help us to intensify our consumer education efforts during the time of year when consumers are really focused on apples and harvest,” said Smith. “They are thinking about buying them, cooking them, as well as family activities involving apples.  We’ll focus on providing solutions that include health tips and recipes while also evoking the fun family traditions around fall harvest time.”

MAC will continue to measure reach, engagement and page growth, and on a qualitative level, use the work to determine types of posts and information that seem to resonate most with the audience. The project also includes consumer print advertising that supports online messages.

“The Specialty Crop Block Grant continues to be a tremendous asset for MAC as we represent the 825 family farms growing Michigan’s largest and most valuable fruit crop,” said Smith. “This enables us to focus on a key part of our mission, consumer education, while being good stewards of grower dollars.”

 The  USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program is run through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Its purpose is to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of Michigan’s specialty crops, which includes fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit www.MichiganApples.com.