FDOC shifts OJ marketing target to younger consumers

With a pool of 84 million potential orange juice consumers, millenials—those born between 1982 and 2004—offer huge opportunities for the Florida citrus industry.

But to capitalize on what the Florida Department of Citrus refers to as future loyalists, marketers must first figure out how they make beverage choices and the best ways to reach them.

“When you look at the size and the strength of the future loyalists, they represent a huge opportunity for us and an opportunity we must exploit,” Doug Ackerman, executive director, told attendees of the Florida Citrus Commission meeting in Bonita Springs.

Commissioners heard a proposal from the department’s advertising agency, BBDO Atlanta, about a new commercial that builds on its long-running “status meeting” campaign but is more relevant to this younger target market.

A fickle generation

But Tom Mitchell, vice president of Riverfront Packing Co. LLC in Vero Beach, says he wonders whether the commission and department would reap these large benefits from younger consumers based on their different allegiances.

“My concern in looking at future loyalists is they’re probably the least loyal,” he says. “I think it’s kind of the ‘what have you done for me lately’ attitude.

“The lack of loyalty is there. It’s like with anything. Look at job turn-over compared with what it was 30 years ago.”

The current target orange juice market, which is aging, represents lifetime consumption of 42 gallons, Ackerman says. That compares to a potential lifetime consumption of 145 gallons for the future loyalists.

The traditional orange juice consumer drinks the beverage at breakfast, but the newer generation drinks it any time of the day.

Mitchell, a millennial himself, says his children, ages 6 and 9, are representative of that new sentiment.

“It’s not a breakfast drink. It’s an any-time-of-the-day drink,” he says.

Different media outlets

Younger consumers also receive marketing messages by different means than baby boomers,  relying much more on digital and social media than print.

As a result, BBDO Atlanta proposed 15- and 30-second commercials that could run on television but also as videos on social media and other digital outlets.

The ad portrays a busy flight attendant who visualizes all of the challenges she’ll face during her day, says Peter Bunarek, group account director.  

The overall message is that orange juice is healthful, provides natural energy, is portable and is good any time of day.

He says the flight attendant commercial is an evolution of earlier status meeting ads, where a group of people sat around a table and predicted the challenges they’d face during the day.

After each activity, such as receiving a ticket for an expired parking meter, the actor brushed it off and quipped, “Good thing I had my orange juice.”

The current status meeting ads as well as the proposed flight attendant campaign were put before focus groups in Minneapolis and Austin in late May, Bunarek says.

The flight attendant resonated well with consumers less than 40 years old as well as those older than 40, he says.

“It reached both future loyalists and existing loyalists,” Bunarek says. “Consumers seemed open to and ready for a new campaign.”

The commercials will be shot and a rough cut presented to commissioners for approval at their Sept. 18 meeting. It is set to launch Oct. 1.

The commercials are part of the Department of Citrus’ orange juice marketing program, which accounts for about 50 percent of its $48.1 million overall budget, according to figures provided by controller Christine Marion.

The department is funded through per-box assessments on citrus.