We recently had the privilege of attending Cherry Bombe Jubilee, an event celebrating the women in and around the food industry, their diverse cultures, occupations, stories, and shared love of good food. It was fitting that such a food-focused event took place in the Big Apple, but while the perspectives overall were fresh, the fresh produce perspective was glaringly missing—which translates to a huge opportunity for our industry!
Below are our key takeaways from this incredible event, potential opportunities we see for fresh produce, and a recap of the insights and inspiration that had us ready to hit the ground running—because there is work to be done to advocate for our industry.
Opportunities for Fresh Produce Marketers
Niche events like this are exactly what fresh produce brands should be looking to get involved with. Not only is this concentrated audience of people keenly interested in food, but they also are actively looking to engage with brands who are telling a good story—and who has a better story to tell than farmers? While chefs, writers and bloggers provide excellent insight into the world of food, farmers are the core reason we have something to talk about.
Fresh produce is the beginning of the food story. Without farmers, we wouldn’t have recipes to fill cookbooks or delicious meals to gather around with friends and family. A grower’s perspective could really enhance this event, and others like it, and provide people with a different (and sometimes more intimate) relationship with food.
Social media is an incredible tool for broadening the lanes of any narrative, but most especially when it involves a trending yet everlasting topic like food. A quick anecdote shared by Samin Nosrat (author of Salt Fat Acid Heat) conveyed the sheer influence social media has—when she casually mentioned on Twitter that she’d heard about the discontinuation of one of Maldon Salt’s products, there was such a buying frenzy that the company quickly backtracked on their decision! While we may not all have the necessary influence to cause the next #SaltGate, we do have influence, with every follower that’s taken the step to follow our brand.
If we want our industry to be part of the food narrative, it’s our responsibility to insert ourselves into relevant trending conversations, provide insight and perspective, advocate for this space and create a more equitable conversation. Nowhere is it easier to do so than online—Jubilee alone had 3,600 #CBJubilee Instagram posts (and many more Instagram stories, tweets, and Facebook posts). That means 3,600 + opportunities for your brand to have shared its fresh perspective. Here are some of our own favorite "Insta-worthy" shots:
While the food narrative continues to expand, the story (at Jubilee and in broader food culture) seems a little narrow at the beginning, focusing heavily on the farm-to-table and locally sourced movement. While we applaud both of these initiatives, we heartily believe that fresh food is good food, and that includes what you find at your local grocer (even when it’s not organic). Working in this space, we know the people who grow the food that we find at the local supermarket, and we do the work we do everyday because we believe the people in rooms like Jubilee should too. We know that the broader fresh produce industry deeply cares for the land it grows from and about the integrity of the product they produce—because their families eat it too.
Jubilee was more than just a celebration of food and women—it was truly an inspiration to anyone looking to make a difference, whether personal or professional. And much like our experience at SXSW, we hope that next year, amongst discussions between the incredible chefs, writers, advocates, and entrepreneurs, fresh produce can find a seat at the table to talk about the positive difference they’re making in our lives every day.
Bonus: Some of Our Favorite Inspirational Quotes from Speakers
“Share the magic - this is what food is about.”—Dorie Greenspan
“We live to feel connected!”—Cha McCoy
“No does not mean never.”—Sophia Roe
“Give credit where it’s due.”—Priya Krishna
“Make friends with your fear.”—Joy the Baker
“Food is comforts of the familiar and the thrill of discovery.”—Amanda Bothelo
“I know my potential—I only fear not becoming what I know I can be.”—Nancy Pappas
“Fuel the growing fire of culinary curiosity.”—Michelle and Suzanne Rouseau
“Vulnerability is your greatest asset.”—Grace Ramirez
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