To drive demand for more fresh produce, Produce Marketing Association and the Entertainment Resource & Marketing Association (ERMA) have formed a partnership to highlight fresh produce on television shows, movies and online entertainment.
ERMA will advocate for and track the use of fresh produce in entertainment production. PMA has agreed to make generic, fresh produce available as entertainment opportunities arise. Produce companies that want to feature specific products or brands will still use product placement companies, and ERMA members will work on product placement.
Jin Ju Wilder, director of corporate strategy for Valley Fruit and Produce Company and PMA board director, was part of the team that created the partnership. “Movies, shows and celebrities influence what consumers purchase and how they behave, so getting more fresh fruits and vegetables on-screen and in the hands of actors can help make produce cool to consumers,” she said. “ERMA’s members were very enthusiastic about being part of PMA’s multi-pronged approach and were confident that fresh produce could be incorporated in multiple entertainment channels, making fresh fruits and vegetables ubiquitous on-screen.”
ERMA President Michael Schrager said more fresh produce easily can fit into shows, whether its use is plot-driven or ancillary. “When popular characters choose produce from the store, the fridge or the restaurant menu as part of their everyday interactions, viewers will identify with that as the right way to eat. By identifying shows with school-age characters, we hope we can help move today’s youth to a healthier lifestyle and lessen the incidence of problems such as childhood obesity,” he said.
This partnership is one of PMA's several efforts to improve consumers’ health and combat childhood obesity. In 2013, Sesame Workshop and PMA joined Partnership for a Healthier America to launch the eat brighter! movement. The initiative, designed to promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption to kids ages 2 to 5, allows PMA’s community of growers, suppliers and retailers to use the Sesame Street brand without a licensing fee. Earlier this year, PMA contributed $1 million on behalf of the fresh produce industry to support PHA’s launch of FNV — shorthand for fruits and vegetables —a brand focused on increasing produce consumption among teens and moms.