Marketing
Local food, a topic that is, and has been, on the mind’s of many, is a growing industry; however the question of transportation of local food is one that has been left behind, until recently, that is. Over the last few years there has been a resurgence of companies focusing on local food distribution, however Foodshed.io differentiates itself by incorporating technology not only to connect producers and consumers but to enhance efficiency, reliability, flexibility and transparency throughout the entire platform. Their tagline reads: reinventing local food distribution.
Creative growers and retailers are always looking for new and innovative ways to capture consumer attention. This is particularly true in the historically conservative and stoic world of perennials. No longer are retailers simply lining out an A to Z offering of hardy plants, hoping consumers will be equipped with enough knowledge to select the right plant for the right space.
Leamington – How does a first-generation family-run greenhouse land its branded products in grocery stores across Canada and much of the U.S.? By perfecting its growing process, and adding a little Zing!.

Jordan Kniaziew, vice-president of sales and marketing at Leamington-based Orangeline Farms says since his family entered farming in 2000, they’ve focused on finding the best varieties and seed selections for peppers and other crops.

Since 2013, the family has been growing, packing and shipping its own products — including award-winning peppers and greenhouse strawberries – under the Zing! Healthy Foods brand.

“We’re always looking at growing products that fit the taste profiles we’re after,” says Kniaziew. “In peppers, our core product, we’ve seen there’s room for growth in the category overall by growing peppers for every meal – in fajitas or stir-fry, scrambled eggs and as snacks.”

In addition to common red, yellow and orange peppers, Zing! offers packages of “chef samplers” under specific taste profiles such as sweet and hot peppers, as well lunchbox peppers. The company has won multiple awards for its peppers and other products including a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food innovation Excellence for its greenhouse strawberries.

Kniaziew says the family’s initial interest in growing food stemmed from his parents’ first careers in health-related fields. Kniaziew’s father is a local optometrist, his mother is a nurse and his brother studied sciences. The Kniaziews continue to value a healthy, active lifestyle and they see farming as an extension of the health care field.

But an interest in growing healthy food and a proven track record of growing quality greenhouse peppers didn’t necessarily mean an easy road for Zing!. Kniaziew says when the company began its branding process, it had to build its customer base from scratch.

Today, they boast a handful of growing partners and a staff team that reaches 85 at peak season and Kniaziew says the company continues to grow its family of products with a focus on maximizing production while maintaining its brand’s superior quality.

“There’s innovation not just in selecting the right variety, but in finding the best way to grow it, pack it, brand it and deliver it to the consumer,” Kniaziew says. “It’s important the consumer gets a full experience, and that the product isn’t being hidden in the back of the grocery store.”

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

                                               
Sept. 29, 2017, Alexandria, VA – Plant retailers have a new tool to help boost sales.
August 2017, Simcoe, Ont. – At the end of May, I visited several urban agriculture ventures in Pomona, California, with Robert Puro of Seedstock, a Los Angeles-based social venture fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture.
July 13, 2017, Simcoe, Ont. – If you asked plant retailers to give you the most common question they get asked by consumers each spring, we’re sure “what’s new?” would be near or at the top of the list.
July 7, 2017, Leamington, Ont. – The NatureFresh™ Farms’ mobile greenhouse tour is still on schedule despite some sizzling summer heat being experienced in the U.S. Midwest.
Feb. 27, 2017 – Proven Winners® has launched an all-new flagship video as a key element of their consumer marketing campaign for 2017. Posted on the Proven Winners ColorChoice® Facebook page the video has been viewed over 700,000 times in just two weeks.

Produced by Fairly Painless Advertising based in Holland, Michigan, the consumer-focused video puts the viewer directly in the shoes of someone planting a garden, inspiring them to create their own spaces using flowering shrubs.  
The video helps consumers understand that Proven Winners ColorChoice flowering shrubs are unique, colourful, and easy to grow. It conveys a message of confidence, that gardening can be a fun and creative, and that every garden is a reflection of an individual’s personal style.

“Our main goal for creating this new video is to build confidence and to share the message that Proven Winners varieties break the traditional paradigm that shrubs are dull, green and unmemorable,” said Tim Wood, product development and marketing manager for Proven Winners ColorChoice.

“With over 270 unique shrubs in the ColorChoice line, retailers can create a customized Proven Winners program tailored for their climate and clientele.”

The video features many unique shrubs including: 'Aphrodite' sweetshrub, Sonic Bloom® Pearl reblooming weigela, Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' dwarf butterfly bush, Let's Dance® Big Easy® reblooming hydrangea, Invincibelle® Spirit II hydrangea, Oso Easy® carefree roses, Sprinter® boxwood, Sugar Shack® buttonbush, 'Sweet Summer Love' fragrant clematis and Lavender Chiffon® rose of Sharon.

ABOUT PROVEN WINNERS COLOURCHOICE

Proven Winners® ColorChoice®is the brand name of Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc., a market leader in flowering shrubs, potted liners, and starter plants.

Located in Grand Haven, Michigan, Spring Meadow Nursery has over 500 varieties in their catalogue, including over 240 varieties marketed under the Proven Winners ColorChoice brand, including Incrediball®hydrangea, Lo & Behold® butterfly bush, Bloomerang®reblooming lilac, and ‘Sweet Summer Love’ clematis.

For more information, visit www.ProvenWinners-Shrubs.com and www.SpringMeadowNursery.com.
Feb.  9, 2017, Toronto – Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to show your lover, family or friend just how special they are.
Jan. 12, 2017, Guelph, Ont. – As temperatures lower and nights get longer, there is nothing like a beautiful blooming plant to brighten the home.
Dec. 14, 2016, Leamington, Ont. – Pure Flavor® has launched its newly redesigned website (www.pure-flavor.com).
Dec. 14, 2016, Toronto – The holiday season is an opportunity to celebrate old traditions and create new ones with friends and family.
December 2016 – The Fraser Valley used to be one of the major hop growing centres of the world. Records indicate the first hops were grown in 1892 (albeit in Saanich on Vancouver Island), before production moved to the Valley.
Nov. 2, 2016, De Lier, the Netherlands – Dümmen Orange is taking the next step in uniting the world through the language of flowers as it launches its online product catalogue and an improved website.
November 2016 – When it comes to marketing, we’ve all seen those quirky tag lines or pub-quiz style snippets that pique our interest and make us look further behind a product.
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