SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. — California growers and shippers are planning promotions in time for spring to keep budget-conscious consumers buying produce.

Earthbound Farm will be holding special promotions for Earth Day, said Samantha Cabaluna, director of communications.

Earthbound Farms will have promotions tied to the April 22 event to highlight the benefits of organics and the company’s products, Cabaluna said.

Those promotions will include Web site tie-ins where the company will give away 80,000 reusable shopping bags over two days bearing the Earthbound Farm brand, Cabaluna said.

Matt Seeley, vice president of marketing for The Nunes Co., Salinas, said the company plans to launch more promotions and cross promotions in 2010 than ever before.

Last year’s promotions with brands like Marie’s salad dressing proved a good way to boost lettuce sales through retail stores, Seeley said, as customers looked for incentives to by produce.

“It’s our big push for” 2010, Seeley said.

Planned promotions for the spring and throughout the year will include more cross promotions with other salad dressing brands as well as an expansion of promotions involving Foxy-brand licensed products like strawberries and potatoes, Seeley said.

“It keeps our brand out there,” he said.

Mann Packing Co., Salinas, is offering a slew of cross-promotional discounts in the spring, including a 55-cent discount on any Mann’s fresh-cut vegetable with a Mountain King potato purchase, and a 55-cent discount off California butter with a purchase of Mann’s sweet potatoes.
The company’s busy promotional calendar has already included discounts with purchase of Real California-brand cheese and Litehouse salad dressing.

Last year, Mann partnered with Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices for discounts and fitness franchise Curves.

Lorri Koster, vice president of marketing, said it’s important to keep people purchasing produce and aware of Mann’s range of products.

“Anything we can do to add value,” Koster said.

This year will see many more Mann Packing promotions, from $1 off broccolini to discounts with Star-brand olive oil.