An Inside Look At New Florida Citrus Brand

Legend Of Sun Lion Art

One of the hot trends in fresh produce is aiming marketing campaigns at children. Think California Cuties and the success this EZ-peel mandarin has achieved in marketing to kids.

Two well-known Florida growers are following this tenet, recently announcing a new company aimed at branding tangerines to capture the attention of young consumers. And, for conservation-minded folks, part of the company’s profits will go toward Florida panther preservation.

Vic Story and Marty McKenna are the growers behind the launch of the “Legend of Sun Lion” Florida tangerines brand for the 2012-2013 season. Story was the 2012 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner. The brand is woven around the tale of the Sun Lion, a Florida panther kitten who serves as the product’s mascot. The Sunshine Story LLC is the company created to market the brand.
“No offense to clementines or Cuties or any other products on the market, but Florida growers produce the tastiest tangerines in the world,” says Story. “We really have a great product grown here in Florida, so we are going to celebrate it.
“You look at the average tangerine that has only about 50 calories and comes with vitamin C, calcium, and fiber. The average cookie has 90 calories. When mothers can give their child something wholesome and healthy as a substitute, we feel good about growing that option for them.”

Follow The Story

To capture the imagination of young consumers, the Legend of Sun Lion brand also will have a storyline told in an illustrated book and carried in all branding efforts. The Sun Lion is the star of this tale. The young panther is the guardian of the “Tangible,” a citrus tree which brings all light and life to the land. The tree bares citrus fruit that contains a powerful energy called “Shine.” The Sun Lion can unlock the power of the Shine, a force it will need to fend off wild hogs called “Night Boars.”

The creative mind behind the story and co-founder of the company is David Gornoski. As a fourth-generation Floridian, he says the Sun Lion story will celebrate the state’s heritage.
“Florida culture is important,” says Gornoski. “So many people who visit Florida ask where the culture is. It’s here. You just have to know where to look.
“I use the tale to illustrate the great stories and romance in Florida’s cultural legacy. Legend of Sun Lion is about celebrating our culture and sharing it with a new generation. We think having an entertainment experience you can taste, smell, and touch is a great way to share stories and values that are important to us.”
Gornoski is working with a Florida literary author to develop concepts for the Sun Lion story. It will be an ongoing legend with no specific end. “We also want kids to use their imagination to create their own Sun Lion stories and ideas,” he says.

Building A Brand

“When I started studying the fresh produce industry, I noticed a lack of serious consumer branding,” says Gornoski. “My experience in entertainment made me familiar with the film and game industry, which helped to create an entertainment character and story that is intuitively tied into a fresh fruit. So much of consumer branding for kids is found in the cereal and candy aisle. Why not create a character with real-life significance that will encourage kids to eat fresh locally grown Florida citrus?”
In addition to the storyline, illustrated posters and point-of-sale pieces are being developed to help promote the brand. Packaging also will extend the storyline. “Our plan is to focus on retail chains and specialty stores that have a Florida presence,” says Gornoski. “This should allow us to grow a local following in state.”

Conservation Minded

Another unique approach the company founders believe will make their brand stand out is their commitment to donate 10% of net profits to the Wildlife Foundation of Florida’s panther fund. It directly funds scientific field research and the recovery of injured and orphaned panthers.
“We believe helping Florida panthers adds a lot to the brand,” says Story. “Families will not only feel good about buying a product from Florida citrus growers, but also about helping to preserve and protect an animal that is an icon for our state.”

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “An Inside Look At New Florida Citrus Brand

Citrus Stories

CitrusSouth Florida Takes Plunge With Major Expansion Of Water Storage Program
December 15, 2014
New ag land partnerships, including a $124 million deal with Alico, more than double the current holding capacity. Read More
CitrusApplications Now Being Accepted For Florida Specialty Crop Block Grants
December 12, 2014
$4.5 million available to help fund industry-enhancing projects. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Crop Forecast Update: So Far, So Good
December 10, 2014
USDA estimates hold steady for third month in a row. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Hall Of Fame Selects Class Of 2015
December 10, 2014
Three more industry stalwarts added to prestigious list. Read More
CitrusSurvey Shows Food Safety, GMOs Among Public-Issue Concerns For Floridians
December 9, 2014
Need for education clear as confusion, misperception rampant among results. Read More
CitrusProspects Perking Up For Florida Citrus In 2015 [Opinion]
December 5, 2014
Positive alignment of numerous programs give reason for optimism. Read More
CitrusDemand For Florida Farmland Exceeding Supply 
December 5, 2014
High prices and water shortages in other parts of the country have potential buyers looking to the Sunshine State. Read More

The Latest

CitrusStudy: Florida Citrus Valued At More Than $10 Billion
December 17, 2014
Industry continues to have large impact on the state’s economy. Read More
CitrusUSDA Offers Crop Disaster Assistance For Fruit And Vege…
December 16, 2014
Free basic coverage plans and premium discounts available for new, underserved, and limited income farmers who had been ineligible for federal crop insurance. Read More
CitrusSouth Florida Takes Plunge With Major Expansion Of Wate…
December 15, 2014
New ag land partnerships, including a $124 million deal with Alico, more than double the current holding capacity. Read More
CitrusApplications Now Being Accepted For Florida Specialty C…
December 12, 2014
$4.5 million available to help fund industry-enhancing projects. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Crop Forecast Update: So Far, So Good
December 10, 2014
USDA estimates hold steady for third month in a row. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Hall Of Fame Selects Class Of 2015
December 10, 2014
Three more industry stalwarts added to prestigious list. Read More
CitrusSurvey Shows Food Safety, GMOs Among Public-Issue Conce…
December 9, 2014
Need for education clear as confusion, misperception rampant among results. Read More
CitrusProspects Perking Up For Florida Citrus In 2015 [Opinio…
December 5, 2014
Positive alignment of numerous programs give reason for optimism. Read More
CitrusDemand For Florida Farmland Exceeding Supply 
December 5, 2014
High prices and water shortages in other parts of the country have potential buyers looking to the Sunshine State. Read More
CitrusTrio Of Acquisitions Make Alico Top Citrus Producer In …
December 3, 2014
With growth opportunity in its sights, Florida company pulls trigger on strategic purchases of three local operations totaling more than $360 million for nearly 30,000 acres. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Commission Adds New Member
December 1, 2014
Gov. Rick Scott appoints Dan Casper of Southern Gardens to replace Virginia Pena; reappoints two others. Read More
CitrusJuicy Subjects In Store For 2015 Florida Citrus Show
December 1, 2014
Day 1 of the annual two-day gathering in Ft. Pierce to provide a refresher course on HLB management strategies. Read More
CitrusGenNext Growers Webcast Calls For Action
December 1, 2014
Young leaders need to activate and motivate now more than ever. Read More
CitrusBe Willing To Take A ‘Wild Turkey’ Approach…
November 27, 2014
Editor Frank Giles says Florida Grower will be stepping up to the bully pulpit in 2015 addressing topics that impact the industry the most. Read More
CitrusNew Partnership To Expand ‘Fresh From Florida’ Foot…
November 26, 2014
Latest deal puts exclamation point on successful Asia marketing campaign. Read More
CitrusReasons Aplenty Florida Growers Should Feel Good Going …
November 24, 2014
Thanks to recent industry achievements, the next 12-month period is shaping up to be a year to remember --- fondly. Read More
CitrusIndustry Organizations Sound Off On President’s Immig…
November 21, 2014
Agriculture is not given the attention it so sorely deserves when it comes to the immigration debate. Read More
CitrusRamped-Up Predatory Mite Production To Benefit Growers
November 21, 2014
Biologics company Beneficial Insectary now rearing two species in its California facility. Read More