WENATCHEE, Wash. – From its birthplace of Minneapolis, Minnesota all the way to the Big Apple, the first-of-its-kind road trip for an apple brand is coming to an end. Stemilt Growers’ has traveled 1,756 miles promoting its new signature apple, and the #RaveRoadTrip will enter its final stop in New Jersey this Thursday, September 5.
During the past three weeks, Stemilt took Rave® brand MN55 cultivar apples to six major cities and many famous landmarks including Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL and the stadium that houses the Cleveland Browns. It was the sounds – not the sights – that were most exciting for Stemilt during the #RaveRoadTrip. Stemilt heard raves of all kinds from consumers after they experienced their first bite of the outrageously juicy apple during the pop-up sampling events.
“Every stop has been a new adventure and an awesome experience,” said Brianna Shales, Stemilt’s communications manager. “Our team had a blast interacting with consumers on a personal level to drive trial and increase brand awareness of Rave® apples. It’s cliché to say, but we heard so many raves about this apple. People love its Honeycrisp texture and super refreshing flavor. One consumer even told us that it tastes better than any apple she’s had before!”
Stemilt reached more than 10,000 consumers during the #RaveRoadTrip, through the pop-up events at different city stops and while driving the Rave-mobile on major roadways. The bold color of the Rave® apple brand made it a source of curiosity from the Midwest all the way to the East Coast. Stemilt’s documenting of the #RaveRoadTrip on social media also led to more consumer awareness and involvement in the journey and special story of how this apple came to be.
“People loved hearing about Rave®’s unique Honeycrisp-MonArk parentage, how the variety was developed, and where we farm it today,” said Shales. “As the growers of this apple, we love sharing that story. It was also fun to bring the #RaveRoadTrip to social media and share the amazing experience that Rave® was having with our fans located near and far from the friendly cities we visited.”
Beyond sampling Rave® apples, Stemilt had an orchard-themed porch swing to inspire Instagram photos and posts of those who visited the road trip. Consumers also had a chance to enter a sweepstakes to win gift cards to local attractions at most city stops.
Throughout the #RaveRoadTrip, Stemilt was running geo-targeted social ad campaigns and working with influencers to spread the news about the apple’s availability nationwide and build brand recognition. This outreach work has led to more than 250,000 impressions for Rave® apples in one month.
“Tapping into our influencer network is another way we introduce consumers to Rave® apples,” said Shales. “With about a month remaining in the apple’s short season, we’ll do another push to share Rave® with top-tier food media outlets in hopes of keeping the raves coming.”
This is the third year Rave® has been on the market and its biggest crop yet. Prior to this season, Stemilt has introduced Rave® apples through various guerilla marketing efforts, including a media and influencer dinner featuring the apple and via a Rave® apple pop-up shop located in the Big Apple.
“Rave® is a fun brand to market and this #RaveRoadTrip was quite the adventure to take an apple on,” said Shales. “The consumer response has been overwhelming. We look forward to continuing the positive momentum on Rave® as it is featured in produce departments across the country over the next several weeks.”
Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is the leading shipper of sweet cherries and one of the nation’s largest suppliers of organic tree fruits. Stemilt has also demonstrated a commitment to sustainable agriculture and social responsibility since 1989, when founder Tom Mathison launched the company’s Responsible Choice program. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com and follow Stemilt on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and You Tube.