We don’t usually mention all the companies that send us press releases about their new websites. Partly because it would be overwhelming and partly because few of the websites offer enough to merit a mention. Most are little more than ads.
When Ocean Mist sent over its announcement regarding its new website at www.OceanMist.com, we knew that we wanted to give it a plug.
It is an interesting hybrid of a trade and consumer site.
In the announcement, Ocean Mist noted that it had done consumer research indicating that 70% of people who, when searching the word “artichokes” on the web, are looking for recipes. They responded with a substantial and sophisticated section dedicated to recipes, which you can see right here.
Ocean Mist also makes a commitment to have a registered dietician answer consumer questions, thus maintaining interactivity and being a resource. You can see this section here.
Years ago,the Pundit, along with Mary Zenorini Silverzweig — the Mary of the Minute in the Kitchen with Mary in-store video series that PMA used to market — did a day of artichoke sampling at a Fresh Fields store, a DC-area chain that later was acquired by Whole Foods.
It was interesting to talk to consumers for many hours about artichokes. Two lessons stood out: First, many who loved artichokes only ordered them in restaurants because they hadn’t the foggiest idea how to prepare them. Second, many who loved artichokes didn’t buy them much because they enjoyed them with melted butter or other fattening sauces.
So although everyone seemed to perceive them as healthy, they didn’t perceive that artichokes would be healthy the way they intended to eat them.
The Ocean Mist site has a “How to Prepare & Cook an Artichoke” and “How to Eat an Artichoke” section right on the recipe page. We would suggest adding a prominent recipe for a flavorful dip that is low fat and low calorie as that, in our experience, was a main issue with consumers.
Beyond clever design, the biggest single problem with websites in the produce industry is that people budget for creation but not maintenance. As a result many are out-of-date, with incorrect or irrelevant information. Ocean Mist has made a major commitment to this site, but Ocean Mist, unusual in the industry, has seized a role as the primary marketer of artichokes in the country. Most companies, with smaller ambitions, would be better off with simpler sites that require less maintenance.
The site offers food safety information, which includes the first time we have seen the mark of the CDFA on a website:
We actually weren’t aware that the mark had been released for websites since these pages are available to consumers and our understanding was that the California Leafy Greens Board was still considering the issue of whether to allow consumer marketing of the seal.
Still Joe Pezzinni, Vice President of Operations for Ocean Mist, is Chairman of the California Leafy Greens Board, so presumably this usage was checked out and cleared.
Actually, though the website has many interesting facets, it is because of Joe’s involvement with the trade — last year chairing the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California and now the Leafy Greens board — that I thought we should mention the new website.
It takes a special company to allow the time commitment necessary to fulfill these jobs. The least the industry can do in return is to take a look at Ocean Mist’s new website. We wish them the best of luck with it, and you can see the whole thing right here.