The London Produce Show and Conference 2014 (LPS14) consumer media programme included a five-month build-up strategy that saw a strong consumer media participation from the BBC, UKTV, Take a Break, Bella, That’s Life, Asda magazine, eat in magazine, Sussex Style magazine and many more magazines, newspapers and food bloggers, including The Botanical Baker, Urvashi Roe, The Greedy Little Piglet and A Little Lusciousness.
LPS15 aims to increase the profile of the fresh produce industry in the eyes of the consumer media, through providing access to the people who grow, distribute and buy fruit and vegetables and showcasing fruit and veg as more than an accompaniment to a meal, but the star turn.
Back in 2014 though, we targeted the mainstream foodie media, as well as up-and-coming bloggers to get inspiring fresh produce recipes and articles out to the industry’s ultimate customer – consumers. Colourful fresh produce-themed ‘save the date’ postcards for the cocktail reception and Media Masterclass went out to targeted media (from consumer magazines to newspaper food editors) in January 2014, pictured below, and were followed up by related tweets via @LondonProduceSH
By March, we had announced TV chef and cookbook author Valentine Warner as the show’s ambassador via tailored press releases and our blog.
In April, we issued the first of two couriered box drops to targeted media, along with an invitation for the cocktail reception. The box contained various exotic fruit, a mini cocktail shaker, a miniature bottle of white rum and a competition to tweet a picture of a “Mojito with a Difference” with the show hashtag #celebratingfresh. The second box drop contained a invitation to the Masterclass and a tomato knife or julienne cutter, as well as several usual vegetables and herbs. We asked journalists to create their own fresh produce dishes and tweet them ahead of the show.
Both drop boxes resulted in three days’ worth of publicity on Twitter, as well as many blogs.
As well as attending the opening cocktail reception, described by several of the media as the best pre-show event they had ever been to, consumer media joined Valentine for a Media Masterclass, which was helped along with cocktails and fresh produce canapés devised by Westminster Kingsway students at the show’s Chef Demonstration Kitchen.
The media then had a ‘show-and-tell’ talk from New Covent Garden Market wholesaler Vernon Mascarenhas and watched London restaurant Wild Honey’s head pastry chef Adam Degg cook a two-course meal for them. They then enjoyed the meal, along with English sparkling wine, sat next to the demo chefs from the day. They were also invited to attend the Chef Demonstration Kitchen during the show in the day, which featured Valentine, US superchef Alain de Coster, Great British Bake Off’s Miranda Gore Browne, vice chair of Master Chefs of Great Britain, Peter Gorton and head chef of new Soho French tapas restaurant Blanchette, Tam Storrar, as well as having ample time to explore the exhibition and educational seminar programme.
The London Produce Show’s Twitter account @LondonProduceSH received excellent exposure over the show days (June 4-6) and the most popular tweet mentioned the food blogger Greedy Piglet and the Media Masterclass: “Read @josordoni’s fab review of her pre-show fruit & veg box. Looking forward to our media masterclass! http://ow.ly/xAAJo“. The account went from zero to 540 followers in five months, with mostly media associated followers following.
The show recipes, offered in high-res images and recipe copy to all journalists, and created in the show’s Chef Demonstration Kitchen
Several recipes and blogs were posted from journalists in the lead up and aftermath:
The Greedy Piglet blog
A Little Lusciousness