The National Watermelon Promotion Board Launches New Foodservice Campaigns
WINTER SPRINGS, FL - Slicing into a juicy watermelon on a hot day is a quintessential summer experience that most of us have enjoyed. However, the National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) is working to show that the possibilities for watermelon extend beyond those summer days, launching a new campaign to further expand watermelon into the foodservice landscape.
As the industry continues to shift due to the pandemic, NWPB is partnering with national chains and quick service eateries to add the delicious flavor of watermelon to their menus as the focus of restaurants and consumers shifts to take-away and delivery options.
“Adjusting to operators’ and consumers’ needs was a top priority this year,” said Megan McKenna, Senior Director of Marketing and Foodservice. “Additionally, leveraging existing relationships with past partners has made executing programming straightforward and incredibly successful.”
In order to fully embrace the flavor profile of watermelon, the Board encouraged operators to experiment with a variety of different recipes and cooking methods. According to a press release, the creativity with the watermelon led to a prominent appearance of delicious juices and smoothies as well as innovative new ways to incorporate the raw fruit into dishes consumers would love.
The Board partnered with several exciting foodservice outlets in its efforts to increase the prevalence of watermelon in this important sector. The list of partnerships and their unique contributions include:
- Another Broken Egg - Chain-wide usage in 74 outlets included a fruit side and Watermelon Cucumber Cooler. This year, the promotion started earlier (March 17) and, for the first time, the chain tested a savory application, Tacos Verano with Watermelon Salsa
- First Watch - Running June 1 through the end of August in 380 locations, the Watermelon Wake Up juice scored a 96/100 for frequency of ordering desire on Datassentials SCORES, a monthly report that tracks and ranks new menu items tested with consumers. Promotions included in-store chalkboards, e-blasts, blog posts, and socials
- Nektar - Expanded social media promotional elements including Instagram Live and Stories with Nektar Founder Alexis Schulze and Board Beverage Consultant Tony Pereyra, amplified on Board channels. Offerings in 165 units included a smoothie and juice, running from June 15 until Labor Day weekend
- Robeks - Custom graphics on Instagram and Facebook promoting the Wailea Watermelon Smoothie, a customer favorite, in 84 locations
“You know you have a hit when guests ask for more watermelon salsa on an already generous portion, or my favorite when a guest asked how much for a container to take home because they know a dozen other things that the bright, sweet, spicy, crunchy, salty goodness would go with!" said Jason Knoll, Vice President of Culinary, Another Broken Egg of America Franchising.
As the new campaign has garnered much success for the summer fruit, the NWPB looks forward to seeing how the program will continue to evolve as consumers realize the full potential of watermelon. The company now prepares for fall and winter programming as it moves into its next phase.
What new innovations and programs will NWPB come out with next? Keep reading ANUK to find out the answer to this question and many more.