Citrus media plan could be a million less
Polk County Democrat – May 20, 2012
Faced with lower revenue by $5.8 million for next year’s budget, the Florida Citrus Commission approved a less costly media plan during a recent meeting at the Florida Department of Citrus in Bartow.
The commissioners saw the proposed preliminary budget for 2012-13, but they did not vote on it. That will take happen next month.
The commission voted for a media plan that is about $1.1 million less than this year. A total of $13.6 million was budgeted for 2011-12. The amount for next year for advertising is just under $12.5 million.
Robyn Martin, associate strategy director for the media buying agency PHD, said consumers want more media and that media is increasing among adults in the United States. She noted that 48 percent of the population is on Facebook.
“You need to be relevant to the consumer,” Martin said.
Martin said TV will be the top media in the plan. The focus will be on the time period from October through April. There will be a mix of cable and network advertising.
The budget for digital will increase about 20 percent, Martin said. Advertising for mobile and tablet devices will be expanded.
Although the final budget for next year has not been adopted, the commission went ahead and voted on the media plan because ad space has to be purchased in advance.
The total proposed operating budget for next year is $50,415,538. The 2011-12 budget is $56,232,201.
The proposed domestic marketing budget that includes public relations programs, processed orange advertising and fresh fruit/grapefruit juice advertising for next year is $25,101,250, which is down from $28,283,450 for this year.
According to the staff regarding expenditures, the Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s is down $2.5 million from the current budget, the domestic orange juice budget is $22.7 million, which is $2.3 million less than the current budget and the domestic grapefruit budgets are down $819,000 from the current budget.
Commission Chairman Martin McKenna said contributions from the state and federal governments totaling $5 million will make the reduced budget a little easier to take. He added the money will be used for disease research.
The staff also provided some information concerning revenue assumptions that included a $3 million box reduction to Florida production, carryover is lower by $3.7 million and tax rates are unchanged from this year.
During a lengthy morning session that lasted four hours, staff discussed strategic planning and marketing strategies for domestic orange juice and grapefruit as well as the international market.
Douglas Ackerman, the department’s new executive director, talked about the mission statement of maximizing consumer demand for Florida citrus products to ensure the sustainability and economic well-being of Florida’s citrus growers and the citrus industry.
Bob Norberg, deputy executive director of research and operations, said the proposed key strategic initiatives are improving the relevance of Florida citrus and demonstrating the value of the Florida Department of Citrus.
“We need to keep the pedal to the medal,” Leigh Killeen, deputy executive director of marketing said in discussing the plan to increase relevance of Florida orange juice and grapefruit.
Mike Yetter, director of international marketing, said the strategy next year focuses on enhancing grower returns by building demand for Florida citrus products in foreign markets as well as increasing awareness and encouraging repeat purchase.
Japan and Korea are the top markets for grapefruit, while Canada is the No. 1 foreign market for orange juice, Yetter said.
Griffin: Siphon money
to fresh fruit advertising
Ben Hill Griffin III of the Ben Hill Griffin Co. spoke to the commission. In a prepared statement, Griffin said he is concerned about some particular emphasis on processed and fresh fruit advertising and merchandising in light of the recent reports of declining orange juice sales.
“Considering our limited budgets, it appears to me that we are doing a pretty good job on advertising,” he said. “However, in my opinion we could do even a better job in returning sales to a more acceptable level.
“With that said, I am of strong belief that we need to siphon a few million dollars from processing advertising to enhance our fresh fruit portion of the industry,” he added. “Fresh fruit is in a more serious decline relative to sales than processing. In my opinion fresh fruit was the firm foundation upon which of our citrus industry grew to where it is today. It was the first product we had for sale that helped make this industry and believe it could play a major part in turning our sales around as we go forward.
Griffin talked about the impact if the industry began advertising to the food service industry the use of fresh orange or grapefruit slices as garnishments to enhance food preparation all over this country.
“Sometimes I feel there has been a lack of appreciation by many growers and even the commission of the importance of fresh fruit appeal to our advertising program,” he said.
“All the above is doubtful to be accomplished unless we are able to pull from process advertising a small portion of dollars for silent sales by depicting the fresh fruit as part enhancement of product such as being processed for not from concentrate.
“Taking into account the more recent high fruit returns, we need to give consideration to the level of taxes we growers pay for advertising – $50-$70 million versus the same back some 20 years ago,” Griffin said. “You can compare the two and understand the lessoned impact we have today.
“We are keeping pace and we will forever be faced with losing shelf space if we don’t add additional dollars for a stronger presence in the market place.”