- The Produce Marketing Association will take the stage next month at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Chief Marketing Officer Laura Scott will participate in a session titled, “Tap Primal Instincts to Fuel Your Food Movement,” alongside panelists from The Wonderful Company, Fresh Produce Marketing and Sentient Decision Science. Scott will also speak on a panel about the health benefits of eating plants.
- The organization developed and submitted the "primal" panel concept last summer, and was selected through a combination of community voting and evaluation from South by Southwest's staff and advisory board.
- At the conference, the Produce Marketing Association will also host an experiential component for the second year. Its Global Street Farm will be an exhibit with live music, fresh produce samples and street food, and will act as a home base for produce and floral industry members at the event.
As the food industry continues to be a hotbed for innovation and changing consumer habits shape the way food producers operate, it's essential for food organizations to have a platform. With visibility at this year's SXSW, the Produce Marketing Association can position itself as a thought leader and help put the food and produce industries at the center of new ideas and influence.
The organization has not released extensive details on its panel discussion, but said in a press release that it will share some of its own research into food choices and explore "why rational thinking alone can’t trump primal desires." The panel marks the Produce Marketing Association's first panel appearance at SXSW, and the topic is designed to appeal to marketers, researchers, food scientists and food lovers.
With its creative panel topic, the Produce Marketing Association is not simply promoting the sale of fruits, vegetables and flowers but also driving deeper conversations around wellness, global business and the intersection of food and culture.
In general, food plays a big role in SXSW’s programming. In addition to many free samples, there is a plethora of food-focused programming that tackles topics like food deserts, the future of eating, transparency and technology. This year, in addition to the Produce Marketing Association's submitted panel, there are two other panels featuring prominent produce and floral industry voices.
Besides being surrounded by other innovative businesses and influencers, SXSW positions PMA in front of a large audience of millennials. Last year, 37% of attendees were between the ages of 25 and 34 – the largest among all demographics. That group has been found to prefer healthy and organic foods. According to the Organic Trade Association, 52% of organic consumers are millennials and the group eats 52% more vegetables than older generations. SXSW is an ideal place to reach this particular audience.
When it started in 1987, SXSW was a relatively small music festival that brought 700 people to the Texas capital city and saw steady growth in the 1990s, eventually adding interactive and film events. Today, the annual event has become a destination for cutting-edge technology and creativity, and has expanded to include industries such as food, blockchain, marketing and media. As SXSW evolved, so did its content, becoming a showcase for emerging technologies, startups and digital trends. Twitter announced its launch there in in 2007, and the iPad 2 was unveiled there in 2011.