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
CitrusBad Weather Or Not, Preparation Always On Radar For Florida Farmers [Opinion]
May 19, 2015
You cannot prevent a natural disaster from taking everything you have, but you can lessen the blow if and when it happens. Read More
CitrusSave Your Greenhouse Structures From Storms
May 19, 2015
Make sure your protected agriculture components are prepared for whatever may blow this way. Read More
BB Hobbs Inc. warehouse in Plant City, FL
CitrusBB Hobbs Bolsters Business In Central Florida
May 18, 2015
Irrigation specialists celebrate opening of new branch warehouse in Plant City. Read More
CitrusHouse Votes To Stop “Flawed” Waters Of The United States Rule
May 15, 2015
The U.S. House of Representatives approved this week bipartisan legislation that requires the withdrawal of the Waters of the United Read More
CitrusPointers On How To Save Money, Increase Sprayer Efficiency
May 15, 2015
Using clean water when calibrating a pesticide sprayer and carrying extra nozzles for quick repair of simple problems in the Read More
Wes Roan of Lipman Produce talks with participants of FFVA's Spring Regulatory Tour.
CitrusFlorida Farming Show & Tell Earns Regulators’ Respect
May 15, 2015
FFVA's annual Spring Regulatory Tour allows those who write regulations controlling water, crop protection chemicals, food safety, and more an opportunity to see production practices firsthand. Read More
CitrusUSDA Announces $11.9M In Assistance For Organic Certification
May 14, 2015
Following on the heels of the USDA’s announcement of record growth in the organic sector, the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service Read More
The Latest
Expansion groundbreaking for Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
CitrusSouthwest Florida Research And Education Center Embraci…
May 20, 2015
A 7,000-square-foot addition to the UF/IFAS facility will house labs and offices for potential new faculty members. Read More
storm clouds
CitrusSouth Florida Rainy Season Could Wind Up On Drier Side
May 20, 2015
National Weather Service anticipating El Niño to play a hand in possible below-normal conditions. Read More
CitrusBad Weather Or Not, Preparation Always On Radar For Flo…
May 19, 2015
You cannot prevent a natural disaster from taking everything you have, but you can lessen the blow if and when it happens. Read More
CitrusSave Your Greenhouse Structures From Storms
May 19, 2015
Make sure your protected agriculture components are prepared for whatever may blow this way. Read More
BB Hobbs Inc. warehouse in Plant City, FL
CitrusBB Hobbs Bolsters Business In Central Florida
May 18, 2015
Irrigation specialists celebrate opening of new branch warehouse in Plant City. Read More
CitrusHouse Votes To Stop “Flawed” Waters Of The United State…
May 15, 2015
The U.S. House of Representatives approved this week bipartisan legislation that requires the withdrawal of the Waters of the United Read More
CitrusPointers On How To Save Money, Increase Sprayer Efficie…
May 15, 2015
Using clean water when calibrating a pesticide sprayer and carrying extra nozzles for quick repair of simple problems in the Read More
Wes Roan of Lipman Produce talks with participants of FFVA's Spring Regulatory Tour.
CitrusFlorida Farming Show & Tell Earns Regulators’…
May 15, 2015
FFVA's annual Spring Regulatory Tour allows those who write regulations controlling water, crop protection chemicals, food safety, and more an opportunity to see production practices firsthand. Read More
CitrusUSDA Announces $11.9M In Assistance For Organic Certifi…
May 14, 2015
Following on the heels of the USDA’s announcement of record growth in the organic sector, the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service Read More
CitrusBeekeepers Lost 40% Of Bees In 2014-15
May 14, 2015
Beekeepers across the U.S. lost more than 40% of their honey bee colonies from April 2014 to April 2015, according to the latest results of Read More
CitrusReport: Florida Agriculture Property Values Remain Firm
May 12, 2015
Lay of the land confirms farm tracts are good investment. Read More
CitrusFlorida Orange Crop Now Projected To Be Lowest In Nearl…
May 12, 2015
Not since the 1965-1966 season have production numbers looked so bleak. Read More
CitrusImportant Crop Insurance Deadline Nearing For Growers
May 12, 2015
Specialty crop, other producers need to certify conservation compliance by June 1. Read More
CitrusAbout 58,000 Jobs In Agriculture And Related Fields Are…
May 12, 2015
National report says the jobs reflect a need for a skilled and trained workforce to support a growing population. Read More
CitrusEPA Approves Experimental Use Permit Of Spinach Trait T…
May 8, 2015
Agency allows potential breakthrough to move forward for further testing. Read More
CitrusSyngenta Rejects Monsanto’s Buyout Bid
May 8, 2015
Company says $45 billion offer undervalues future prospects. Read More
CitrusMediterranean Fruit Fly Found In JFK Airport
May 5, 2015
The Mediterranean fruit fly, one of the world’s most destructive pests, was recently intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Read More
CitrusHow You Can Survive The Mobilegeddon
May 4, 2015
The Mobilegeddon is upon us. No, this isn’t a time to prepare disaster bunkers, or buy canned food in bulk. Read More