LONGMONT, CO: The National Honey Board has hired RL Public Relations & Marketing to handle its first-ever outreach effort to Hispanic consumers.
The agency's Los Angeles and New York offices will work on the account.
The board spoke with 10 agencies over a month's time, selecting RL because of its work with another commodity group, California Milk Producers, said Bruce Wolk, director of marketing for the board.
"We recognize that the Hispanic market is growing, and we have not traditionally done the best job we could in reaching that channel," Wolk said.
The agency will work to dispel myths about US honey among Hispanics, said Wolk and agency founder Roxana Lissa.
American honey is lighter in color than Latin American honey because of the types of flowers that bees here feed on, Wolk explained.
But the lighter color has raised issues about purity and taste among Hispanic consumers. Research that the agency has conducted has found that Hispanic consumers in the US think American honey has additives or artificial ingredients introduced to it, Lissa said.
"A lot of the focus of the PR program will be to communicate the right messages [about American honey]," she said. "We will educate them on the benefits of US honey."
In many South American countries, honey also evokes memories of youthful activities, Lissa added.
PR efforts on behalf of the board will attempt to recall such memories and connect them with US honey.
"If we can establish that emotional bond with consumers, that is how we can encourage them [to use US honey]," Lissa said.
The agency will put two people on the national account and target its efforts primarily at Hispanic women.
Other clients of the firm include Cover Girl Cosmetics, Got Milk?, Hennessy, and Sears.