Targeting E-commerce to Drive Florida OJ Sales Higher

Jim Rogers Florida, Florida Department of Citrus, Orange Juice

As HLB has reduced Florida’s citrus crop, so too has the budget shrunk for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). The agency charged with promoting the state’s signature crop is largely funded by fees based on citrus production.

FDOC has been forced to look for creative ways to do more with less with its promotional budget. One tactic has been using e-commerce to drive Florida orange juice (OJ) sales higher. Online shopping has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, making the internet a great place to promote OJ.

Recently, Meredith Nelson, senior vice president of performance marketing and analytics at Edelman (an advertising agency for FDOC), hosted a webinar on how FDOC is targeting e-commerce to increase demand for Florida OJ. She said the approach has shown an exceptional return on investment, which is critical considering smaller budgets for promotion.

Florida OJ Sales

FDOC has been placing digital ads in three sectors of e-commerce: big box brands like Walmart and Target; regional grocers like Publix and Kroger; and mobile/online-first brands like Amazon and Instacart.

Using e-commerce, FDOC can be very specific in targeting potential OJ consumers. In this case, the agency is focused on the “lapsed buyer.” These three sectors of e-commerce have rich databases on their consumers’ behavior and purchasing patterns. Lapsed buyers can be served OJ advertising at various points in their online shopping experience.

“We have defined the lapsed buyer as someone who at the foundational level is not purchasing OJ or has not purchased it in the past 30 days,” Nelson said. “What we don’t want to do in this plan is target people who are currently purchasing OJ. We want to bring people back to OJ.”

Because of its scale, Walmart is one of the top performers in the FDOC’s lapsed-buyer approach. The retailer is the largest online grocer, and 90% of Americans shop at Walmart. In the e-commerce realm, it is No. 2 behind Amazon.

“We are seeing extremely strong performance on the ad spend,” Nelson said. “Walmart is our top performer, which is not surprising. We have the strongest attributed sales and return on ad spend (ROAS) with Walmart. (ROAS is calculated by dividing company revenue by spend.) We also are seeing very strong performance from Instacart.”

For every dollar FDOC has spent on Walmart e-commerce ads, the ROAS is $9.40. The agency’s investment in Instacart comes in with an ROAS of $8.85. Instacart is the nation’s largest online grocery delivery marketplace with more than 500,000 shoppers. The service is available to 85% of U.S. households.

Nelson said in addition to strong ROAS, the lapsed-buyer e-commerce campaign allows the agency to be nimble and able to quickly respond to trends that might favor OJ sales. One example is the renewed interest in the health benefits of citrus in the wake of COVID-19.

Watch the FDOC webinar here.

About the Author

Frank Giles

Editor-in-Chief AgNet Media Publications

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