The California Strawberry Commission has approved its 2005 marketing plan, a more streamlined and efficient version of the “Be Well…Get the Red Edge” program.

In 2003 the commission launched this new marketing program, with the goal of driving consumer demand and consumption by providing information about the health benefits of strawberries. The Red Edge campaign is based on information developed by nutrition research, and is currently focused on cancer, cardiovascular and memory studies.

The annual marketing and board of directors meeting focused primarily on the commission's marketing strategy for the upcoming 2005 season. The board approved a demand building plan including a media tour with registered dietitian Ellie Krieger, the author of “Small Changes, Big Results”, which will be released in spring 2005 and centers on healthy eating and the importance of strawberries in a healthy diet.

Additional programs were approved, including increasing funding of health and nutrition research on strawberries. The board approved the marketing plan for 2005 at a total budget recommendation of $4.6 million. The commission's full budget, including the marketing program, will be reviewed and decided upon by the full board in January 2005.

Michael Hollister, chairman of the marketing committee said “The Red Edge” campaign has continued to enhance the industry's marketing strategy, providing a fresh look at the value of strawberries as a super-food in a daily diet.