The California Table Grape Commission this year plans to expand upon many of the successful components of last season’s promotional program, including healthful messaging in tandem with the Food Network.

Veteran commission dietitian spokeswoman Ellie Krieger will be joined by five new dietitians who plan to write regular blogs and make appearances regionally, said Jeff Cardinale, vice president of communications.

The Fresno, Calif.-based commission also plans to focus on grapes as an ingredient, whether in foodservice or home-prepared meals.

“One of the things we’re really emphasizing is everywhere you can use grapes in virtually any meal, and it’s one ingredient that can change everything,” Cardinale said.

Based on weather conditions in early April, the commission expects the California season to start in mid-May and run through January.

As it has the past few years, the commission plans to advertise on the Food Network as well as in the Food Network magazine and on its accompanying website,, Cardinale said.

Throughout the season, newspaper, radio and TV ads will highlight the role California table grapes play in a healthy lifestyle, Cardinale said.

The taglines have been expanded to four this year from last year’s two. They are: “a whole bunch of healthy,” “it’s always a good time for grapes,” “one ingredient can change everything” and “good health, fresh off the vine.”

A summer Facebook contest is just part of an overall social media campaign the commission plans to undertake that includes recipe contests, other interactive opportunities, a California grapes Pinterest board, and videos posts to YouTube and the commission’s website,

For retailers, the commission plans a program that includes a volume-based promotion award, consumer and category research, media incentives and point-of-sale material, she said.