New York Apple Association turns to recipes and technology | Produce News – The Produce News

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The New York Apple Association is becoming more digitally-centered around the customer connection — one person, one apple, one market at a time. In doing so, the association is actively considering how digital touchpoints can create and enhance the shopping experience of today’s shoppers — all the way from ecoupons, social media and making available information about apple varieties and new recipes. 
“We recently announced that we would be releasing 50 new recipes on our website; we are upping our game to include even more,” said Cynthia Haskins, president and CEO of the NYAA. “Seventy-five new recipes are being added to, along with new how-to instructional videos. The new recipes, all with full-color images and instructions, is an excellent resource for consumers.”
The recipe section of showcases more than 200 recipes currently, and more are on the way, with at least 20 more how-to videos being added in the next two months.
“Showcasing apples, recipes and telling the grower story is a key part of our marketing initiative as we trace the journey that apples make from the orchard to the recipe,” Haskins said. “The NYAA makes these assets available to retailers to place them on their websites, social media platforms, or blogs.”
The website includes recipes for appetizers, bread, breakfast, craft hard cider, fresh cider, desserts, entrees, snacks, soup and sandwiches, smoothies and juices, and salads.
“Today’s kitchens range from being fully-stocked with all the trappings of a serious home chef to sparse refrigerators filled with grab ’n go food and snacks,” Haskins said. “Whatever your fancy, the NYAA is cooking up some new recipes to bring attention to their flavorful apples. While I still enjoy thumbing through one of my favorite cookbooks, it is convenient to go to the grocery store and have at your fingertips a list of ingredients that need to go into the shopping cart. It makes for a convenient shopping experience.”
Elsewhere, the NYAA is wrapping up its new kitchen design in the upcoming weeks. NYAA repurposed kitchen cabinets and created an open space environment to allow rolling cameras and videos to move around quickly. 
“Our consumer reach includes traditional channels like TV commercials, radio, social media, our website, along with new channels like social media,” Haskins said. “We have an ample database of consumers who have signed up to receive the latest information. We are looking forward to sharing the New York apple journey story, giving them recipe ideas, and educating them about our diverse mix of apple varieties. We are establishing these resources to maintain a lasting relationship with consumers.”
The NYAA understands that with the advent of mobile technology and the internet, consumer behavior and needs are changing rapidly.
This year, a big part of its marketing campaign will focus on using social and digital media with retail partners about upcoming sales, promotions and digital coupons. 
“We understand that consumers use technologies such as smartphones that make everyday tasks such as cooking, shopping, and scrolling quicker and easier,” Haskins said. “Whether they are doing it inside of the store or scrolling online before they go or order their groceries online, we are going to be there for the consumer.”
In doing so, the NYAA is thinking beyond brick-and-mortar retail stores and creating resources for retail buyers to heighten the online shopping experience. However, the NYAA is not new in making direct-to-consumer connections as many growers have been doing so with their apple-picking destinations.
NYAA has also developed a locator map at that has become popular with apple connoisseurs.
“The tool makes it easy for consumers to find an apple-picking destination, source and experience fresh cider being made, and enjoy a hard cider beverage with a view or live music,” Haskins said. “The map also shows which growers and shippers have gift boxes of apples and apple products available for shipping or to buy on the premises.”
In the year ahead, direct-to-consumer marketing strategies will continue to use geotargeting. NYAA shared they were putting more and more emphasis on that area and reported it is working with more and more retail partners in this digital space as the interest among retailers has been growing.
A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.
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