Tropicana is seeking to tap into the nation’s largest demographic group, millennials, with a new marketing campaign for its orange juice.
“Tropicana has always been about helping people get the best start to their morning, so partnering with A Plus is an exciting way for us to fuel a culture and community of positivity,” Tropicana general manager Björn Bernemann said in a press release. “It’s also a great way for us, a brand coming up on its 70th anniversary, to engage a new generation of consumers in a relevant and meaningful way.”
A Plus, a digital media company co-founded by actor and technology investor Ashton Kutcher in 2014, is focused on “positive journalism” to “bring optimism to America’s mornings.” A Plus is identified as a Chicken Soup for the Soul Company.
Tropicana’s Morning Spark stories, with video and editorial content, will be featured every day from 7 a.m. until noon for six weeks on the A Plus website. Tropicana’s first native video, Spark a Smile, was picked up and shared by big-name celebrities Adam Levine, Robin Thicke and Lil Wayne.
“It seems like it is a new organic campaign where people sharing on social networks do the work,” said Stewart Moon of Bradenton, a millennial and member of Manatee Young Professionals.
Some of that work is being done by the A Plus celebrity influence network, which has millions of millennial followers. Lil Wayne has more than 50 million Facebook likes, while Adam Levine has about 10 million.
A growing number of companies are targeting more of their marketing to millenials, Moon said, citing the aging baby boomer population with its allegiance to Harley Davidson. For instance, Ducati motorcycles recently reintroduced its Scrambler model with a direct pitch to millennials.
Catherine Ferrer, a millennial and community engagement coordinator for Realize Bradenton, said it appears Tropicana is trying to do a “groundswell” campaign to attract the loyalty of millennials.
“It will be really interesting to see how this works out. Tropicana being a hometown brand, I am rooting for them,” she said.
It’s also a great way for us, a brand coming up on its 70th anniversary, to engage a new generation of consumers in a relevant and meaningful way.
Tropicana general manager Björn Bernemann
The new initiative comes at a time when orange juice faces increasing competition from other beverages on grocery shelves, while OJ consumption and production decline.
“An increasing number of beverage options from flavored waters to smoothies to cold brew coffees are shrinking shelf space for long-time staple beverages and brands,” the Florida Department of Citrus reported in a fact sheet on OJ consumption in October.
Other factors include consumer concerns about sugar in orange juice, a decline in citrus production caused by greening and other diseases, and the rising cost of 100 percent orange juice, according to the state fact sheet.
Orange juice sales declined 9.5 percent over the previous year, according to a Nielsen Scantrack estimate released in December in an economic and research report compiled by the Florida Department of Citrus.
Founded in Bradenton, Tropicana is the leading producer and marketer of branded fruit juices under the names Tropicana Pure Premium, Trop50, Tropicana Premium Drinks, Tropicana Farmstand and Tropicana Essentials.
Tropicana was founded in 1947 by Anthony T. Rossi in Bradenton.