Summer Is the Time to Double Down, Not Check Out

Summer is a time to slow down, reflect, recharge, and savor every sunny minute of the longer days, ticking away each evening by the light of fireflies. Summer nostalgia delivers memories of lemonade stands, peach juice dripping down our chins, watermelon seed spitting, and fresh-cut cantaloupe enjoyed with a splash of salt water at the beach. This is how summer is portrayed in every beach novel, and blockbuster romance was ever written about the season. Notably, the main characters never seem to work in the produce industry.

Summer in the produce industry is a time to double down. Yes, we need to reflect, recharge, and savor the work of the first two quarters of the year, but the work does not stop, and neither do we.

Our product cycle is in a riveting new place where seasonality and limited time produce create FOMF or fear-of-missing-fruit among consumers. Seasonal produce catches consumers’ attention and wallets for short bursts of time. This is why we need to capitalize on these bursts and double down our marketing efforts to make the most of the season.

However, doubting down on your summer marketing does not only happen at the grocery store. Retail partners are good at collaborating with growers and shippers to elevate and celebrate the bounty of the summer months. Through circulars, specials, and merchandising, consumers join in the celebration of eating all the fresh produce the season has to offer.

Trends across different industries follow similar patterns of adoption as they become omnipresent. One benefit for fresh produce marketers is that our products are already associated with the summer months. Looking at the tangential trends outside grocery retail, new opportunities to celebrate produce are presenting themselves creatively, and it is time to capture the share of excitement.

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Summer apparel has traditionally celebrated fruit patterns, and the fruit trend of the year changes with each season. Lucky for us in the industry, finding produce socks, a blouse, a purse, and other accents have become commonplace. Not so much for the plumbers and HVAC technicians of the world.

This year’s trend seems to be berry centric; no surprise given that Pantone, the world-renowned color matching and creation system, named the 2022 Color of The Year’ Veri Peri’ periwinkle blue, as seen in blueberry clamshells across the nation. Like the lemon prints of the past, summer apparel loves a beautiful fruit pattern, and consumers are a sucker for seersucker stripes and citrus.

Wear your product on your sleeve and embrace this annual fashion trend. You might consider adopting it into your marketing campaigns or proposing a summer collaboration with Old Navy.

Although not the shortest season, summer days are numbered as we all count down to the return to school, return to close-toed-shoes, and return to our nine-month routine until next summer. The urgency and expectation of making the most of the days result in event-packed calendars, family vacations, camps, and caravans.

The state of inflation and gas prices may damper the American tradition of road trips this season, but nothing will get in the way of concert venues selling out shows nightly and concert-goers from investing in the live performance experience of an evening with their favorite artists.

Music too, has caught the produce passion. Whether you are still seeking Harry Styles’ watermelon sugar high, driving around in search of Beyonce’s lemonade stand, or heading to Georgia where Justin Bieber gets his peaches, the produce mentions (and innuendos) in mainstream music are many.

Grab the attention and ride the coattails of these popular Tik Tok superstars as they sing the praise of your produce! Now is the time to learn and leverage this new channel while every Gen X’er is on summer vacation and spending exponentially more time invested in content consumption.

Summer is the time to double down on marketing – exploring new opportunities and testing new strategies. So, while your friends and family may be enjoying long summer days with their toes in the sand, think about dipping your marketing toe into an unconventional channel. And maybe slow down and support a young entrepreneur at their lemonade stand too.