During 2013 the California Raisins team have been busy getting the message across to UK consumers about the benefits of California Raisins in cooking, baking and snacking, and bringing the different UK trade audiences up to date about why their product presents a smarter, confident choice, all through a combination of targeted initiatives.

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California Raisins are a truly versatile ingredient – 100% natural, sun-dried, sweet and juicy, with an intense rich flavour. Over 50,000 metric tonnes of California Raisins are used every year in a wide variety of products across Europe, from bakery and confectionery to cereals, dairy and ice creams. Rigorous inspections and safety checks set to client specifications, plus the product’s ability to withstand the panning and coating processes are key factors that make California Raisins appealing to international confectionery brands and smaller manufacturers.

Getting this message across is an ongoing process.

May saw a UK industry visit from California which represented a “first” for more than 20 years, when the California Raisins UK team welcomed a delegation from the California Raisin Industry to meet with importers, retailers and wholesalers in the UK. 125 members of National Dried Fruit Trade Association (NDFTA) and their guests joined 14 visiting growers and packers from Fresno to hear about the latest news and views from California.  Various presentations took place from Gary Schultz, President of the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC), Monte Schutz, RAC Chairman and Glen Goto, CEO of the Raisin Bargaining Association, together with an overview of the UK retail market from Edward Garner of global research company Kantar.

For 11 years California Raisins has been committed to supporting Britain’s professional bakers. In 2013 they attended the conference of the former National Association of Master Bakers, now known as the Craft Bakers Association. In June they supported the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees’ Annual Conference at Alton Towers and the Scottish Bakers’ Conference, where, collectively, they put the California Raisins proposition in front of over 500 key bakery companies.

In July the team were at the Skills for Chefs Conference at the University of Sheffield, and in October the emphasis was on bakery, when California Raisins supported National Craft Bakers’ Week encouraging bakers to pull out all the stops and offer shoppers the best baked goods available. This year the week saw an increase of at least 30% more bakeries taking part compared to last year. Also in October California Raisins attended IBIE 13 in Las Vegas with winners from their national California Raisin bakery competition.

Brian-Turner-B&W-(1-of-1)At the end of November the team went international again and travelled to Frankfurt, taking part in the US Pavilion at Food Ingredients Europe. ‘FIE’ is considered the world’s most important gathering of ingredient suppliers, distributors and buyers – the perfect audience for California Raisins to demonstrate their value to the global manufacturing community.

On the consumer side, California Raisins is active in online consumer advertising in the UK. In 2013 they teamed up with ‘madeformums.com’ and launched an on line advertising campaign to young mums with pre-school and primary school children, reaching an audience of 1.7 million. Mums were invited to request a special California Raisin activity pack: within 24 hours of the ad appearing 1,038 requests were received, and within 12 days the target of 2,500 was exceeded. In total 313,000 impressions were received throughout the campaign.

California Raisins also teamed up with the W.I. and celebrity chef Brian Turner in 2013. California Raisins invited the W.I.’s 210,000 members to create an exciting new dish made with California Raisins. Brian Turner was on hand not only to judge the competition but also to re-create the winning dishes, which were then published in a limited edition cookery booklet.

California Raisins UK

Tel: 01753 827650

www.raisins.org

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