FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2013
Contact: Sue Harrell, Director of Marketing
Florida Strawberry Growers Association
Florida strawberry growers fire up marketing efforts in collaboration with Smokey Bones restaurants
PLANT CITY, Fla. – The Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA), as part of its continuing campaign to educate consumers about its unique winter strawberry crop has partnered with Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill to spread the message that fresh-from-Florida berries are on the menu in a special promotion that runs Feb. 10-March 2, 2014.
Florida is the dominant domestic supplier of winter strawberries. Crops are harvested between Thanksgiving and mid-March, and are shipped to locations east of the Mississippi and along the entire East Coast. This market is ideally suited to the Smokey Bones brand, which includes 65 locations in 17 states, most of which are in the same geographic area targeted by Florida winter strawberries.
Smokey Bones’ vice president of culinary Jason R. Gronlund, also a founding member of the FSGA Chefs Advisory Board, wanted to further promote Florida-grown strawberries, so he suggested that the restaurant could boost the berries’ brand exposure through menu items featuring the red, juicy fruit. Gronlund created a limited-time-dessert offering – a strawberries and cream cake. The restaurant also developed a new strawberry cocktail, and will offer a strawberry-flavored ale from its bar selections.
“We are excited to be able to spotlight our winter berries through a popular restaurant brand that is synonymous with great food, drinks and fun. We know our collaboration with Smokey Bones will encourage consumers to purchase and consume more Florida strawberries all winter long,” said Sue Harrell, director of marketing for FSGA.
“Teaming with the actual people who grow Florida’s winter strawberry crop complements Smokey Bones’ culture of developing menu choices that feature the best quality food, including the freshest produce possible,” added Tiffany Walker, director of marketing for Smokey Bones.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is supporting the “Bones ‘n’ Berries” promotion by lending its “Fresh from Florida” logo, which was created to promote the state’s fresh agricultural products. The logo will be placed on collateral material to identify the special menu items.
Local growers and members of the FSGA produce about 15 percent of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter. The commodity has an economic impact on the local community exceeding $700 million. Hillsborough County, Fla., is known as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World. For more information about FSGA, visit www.flastrawberry.com.
Smokey Bones is a full-service bar and fire-grill restaurant brand based in Orlando, Fla. It is owned by an affiliate of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners, whose portfolio of restaurants also includes Boston Market, Friendly’s, Sweet Tomatoes, Fazoli’s, Bar Louie, and other restaurant brands. For more information on Smokey Bones, visit www.SmokeyBones.com.