Recap of United Fresh Produce Association's BrandStorm™ 2021
THE VIRTUAL UNIVERSE - There is one word coming off of the lips of nearly all industry members this week: marketing. United Fresh Produce Association’s virtual BrandStorm™ event, which was developed by produce marketers for produce marketers, brought three jam-packed days full of industry insights, leaving us all with a stronger understanding of our business proposition.
Didn’t get to attend all of the sessions you’d hoped to? Keep reading to see our exclusive run-down of the event.
“This was a record-breaking year, as it was easier for attendees to participate without the obstacles of travel,” said Amanda Griffin, Vice President of Education and Program Management. “More than 360 people registered to attend BrandStorm virtually. This is a testament that United Fresh continues to meet our industry’s needs in bringing our events online this year, a feat we’re most proud of.”
A Networking Reception took place on Monday, during which attendees had a chance to explore the virtual format and connect with other operators. Events from Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday included a unique variety of Educational Breakout Sessions and Exploratory Dialogues. The event also hosted a Fresh Marketing Professionals Meet Up, Marketing Firm Sessions, and so much more.
The event concluded with a Fireside Chat featuring Roger Pepperl, retired Marketing Director at Stemilt; Cindy Jewell, President of SC Jewell; and Mark Munger, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at 4Earth Farms, all of whom have served United Fresh as Chair of the Produce Marketing and Merchandising Council, which is a group of volunteer leaders who develop BrandStorm.
“This year’s virtual BrandStorm knocked it out of the park,” Mark said in response to ANUK. “Kudos to United Fresh and a big thank you to the Produce Marketing and Merchandising Council for putting together an incredible event. Every year the content, the speakers, and especially the attendees simply get better and better. This year’s focus on key trends like sustainability, the power of social media, and the importance of nurturing your brand were spot on. I’m constantly impressed and inspired by the amazing talent we have in our industry and the power of collaborative thought. While I’m disappointed we couldn’t all be together in person, this year’s virtual format was an endless stream of high quality content, great ideas, and inspirational presentations. I can’t wait for BrandStorm 2022!”
Mary Coppola, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Fresh, also weighed in on the importance of this monumental show.
“I hope attendees learned marketing strategies, gained new business partners or peer relationships, and had important conversations that will advance their business objectives,” Mary told me. “But most of all, I want attendees to understand there is a community grappling with the same challenges and navigating similar paths to growing produce consumption. BrandStorm is their community.”
Mary went on to note that United Fresh has already received extremely positive feedback from attendees. The association has been hosting education via Zoom since June 2020, and its members get more and more adept at using all the tools, multitasking in chats as they view presentations, and knowing that they’ll get out of the experience what they put into it.
“Despite the virtual fatigue everyone is feeling after the past year, BrandStorm 2021 did an excellent job of keeping us engaged with topics that are relevant to marketing departments across the industry,” said Ajit Saxena, Public Relations and Digital Marketing Manager at Mucci Farms, in a statement sent to ANUK. “Not only did we learn a lot, but the virtual format made it possible for more of our team members to attend. Thank you to all the organizers, speakers, and attendees for creating a renewed sense of enthusiasm amongst our team as we continue to tackle the marketing challenges of a post-pandemic world.”
It was, to say the least, a refreshing opportunity to escape our busy schedules—even if just for an hour to meet face to face with industry friends.
Want to share some of the marketing insights you plan to put into practice? Shoot us an email at [email protected]. We’d love to hear what’s in store.
For more exclusive stories from across the supply chain, keep clicking back to ANUK.