FRESNO, Calif. — The average U.S. resident munches about eight pounds of fresh grapes annually, and 98% of those grapes are California grown, according to the California Table Grape Commission.

If the commission has its way, that percentage will climb. The staff has put the finishing touches on a far-reaching marketing campaign that will stretch from the internet to television to magazine to ballparks.

In 2009, the commission took its campaign for the first time to major league baseball, said Jim Howard, vice president.

A pilot project with the San Francisco Giants included sales of grapes in the ballpark, a banner behind home plate and a “Grapes from California” day at the park complete with a T-shirt giveaway.

The relationship with the Giants proved so successful that the commission is moving into other major league parks, Howard said.

“We’re still calling it a pilot project, but an expanded pilot project,” he said.

In addition to the Giants, the Grapes from California campaign will invade the home fields of the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays, Howard said.

As was the case in San Francisco in 2009, retailers will be invited to compete in a volume-based contest with the winning retailer earning the honor of throwing out the first pitch on Grapes from California day.

Regional promotions for the ballpark days will appear on the internet, Howard said. The regional promotions are part of a multimedia outreach.

“It’s going to be the largest total reach in commission history,” Howard said.

The campaign’s anchor is the Food Network, which will promote California grapes on its television program, in its magazine and on its Web site and other Web sites the company owns, such as

The numbers are impressive.

“Food Network television reaches 86% of the U.S.,” Howard said, “And 69% of primary grocery shoppers have watched Food Network television at least once in the seven days prior to visiting a market.”

The campaign features California grapes on a medium little used by the commission.

“We haven’t been on television in years, so this is a return to TV for us,” he said.

The Food Network Website is No. 1 online food and cooking destination, Howard said, and 73% of household decision makers visited the site within the past 30 days.

Food Network Magazine is just one year old, but is already the No. 2 newsstand seller in the food category, he said.

A boost for retailers is the Food Network’s regional flexibility.

“We now have the ability to geotarget, so that we may add a retailer’s logo in almost any given market,” Howard said.

In exchange for promotional commitments, a retailer’s logo will appear regionally on the Food Network’s Web site and in display advertisements in a related magazine.

“The June issue will be the first with our display advertisement,” Howard said. “In several major cities, the ads will include a retailer’s logo.”

Inclusion in the display advertisements is exclusive — one retailer per region, he said.

“Reception has been very strong, so we’re getting really solid commitments from retailers,” Howard said.

An interesting aside is that about 50% of Food Network Magazine readers do not watch Food Network television.

“Through the magazine, we’re reaching shoppers we may not reach on television,” Howard said.

One reason for reading rather than viewing, he said, may be that the magazine is “very recipe-oriented,” while during prime time few recipes are presented on Food Network television.

The commission has elected to eliminate the regional mini-billboards that were affixed to the sides of markets or were posted in parking lots.

Also out of the plan for this year is the commercially available cookbook promoted by the commission last fall. The endeavor was extremely labor-intensive, Howard said. It was well received, however.

“We’ve been told the cookbook sold out of its first printing,” he said.

One long-term staple of the commission marketing plan remains.

“We’ll continue to sponsor traffic reports on radio in any market, any time,” Howard said.

The announcements for the traffic reports include a five second tag to identify retailers who commit to grapes from California promotions.