The Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association (BVMDGA), responsible for 70 percent of the Medjool dates grown in the U.S., have named Miami, Tampa, Orlando and six other U.S. cities as “Top Date Cities” and are including them in a year-long tour and multimedia marketing effort designed to encourage new uses for one of the world’s oldest and most mysterious fruits.
The Great Bard Valley Medjool Date Tour will kick-off in April in the three Florida cities, and include local samplings, in-store promotions and other activities designed to introduce Americans to the flavor, nutrition and culinary possibilities of Bard Valley Medjools. Up to one-third of all dates in the U.S. are eaten for Easter, Passover and other spring holidays.
Other cities receiving “Top Date City” honors include Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, St. Louis and San Antonio, Texas.
The tour is part of a year-long marketing effort by BVMDGA to increases awareness, trial and consumption of Medjool dates. The nine tour markets have been singled by the grower group for local advertising, online and PR activities to encourage the cities’ disproportionately large percentage of date-loving residents to widen their date horizons even further. Bard Valley growers have partnered with local registered dieticians (RDs) to educate consumers, bloggers and other groups, and with Publix and other local retailers on various in-store programs.
In addition to the local advertising, PR and in-store support tactics, a comprehensive digital advertising and social media program, and a national PR component, will raise the national profile of Bard Valley Medjools in 2011.
Known as the “Fruit of the Kings,” Medjools are a good source of fiber and contain more antioxidants than blueberry juice and only slightly less antioxidants than pomegranate juice. Naturally sweet, they contain no added sugar and are low glycemic for sustained energy. They also offer important vitamins and minerals including Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Calcium, Iron and Vitamin K.
The BVMDGA is a consortium of family growers in the Southwest. Bard Valley Medjools is the top Medjool date brand in the U.S.
“While Americans typically lag behind their counterparts in Europe and the Middle East in their appreciation of Medjools and other dates, ‘Top Date City’ residents were among the first to fully embrace the world’s oldest fruit,” explained Ed O’Malley, president of Datepac, which in collaboration with the BVMDGA is responsible for 70 percent of the Medjool date crop grown in the U.S. “But there are still many culinary enthusiasts who are unaware that Medjool dates are great right out of the box and as a recipe ingredient and topping.”