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
Urban vegetable farm in rural Cuba
Citrus
January 15, 2017
New Transitional Certification Program to Foster Organic Growth Receives USDA Approval
The program will be based on standards developed by the Organic Trade Association. Read More
Tom Vilsack entering stage for a speech
Citrus
January 13, 2017
Vilsack Bids Fond Farewell in Early Exit From Top Office
With no clear-cut replacement in sight, U.S. agriculture secretary leaves one week before his term officially ends. Read More
citrus fruit drop in a Florida grove
Citrus
January 12, 2017
Season’s First Slip Seen In Latest Florida Orange Estimate
Despite slight drop in Valencias, silver linings found. Read More
Closeup on a citrus blossom in Florida
Insect & Disease Update
January 11, 2017
Florida Citrus Growers get Another Bactericide Booster
EPA Section 18 re-issued for treatment of HLB-infected trees. Read More
Washed out veggie field in NE Florida from Hurricane Matthew
Citrus
January 10, 2017
Was 2016 the Worst Weather Year Ever?
Near all-time records in average temperature and costly climate-related disasters make a strong case for dubious distinction. Read More
Hugh English
Citrus
January 9, 2017
Longtime Florida Citrus Grower Earns Champion Status
Hugh English recognized for his support of UF/IFAS research. Read More
Citrus
January 3, 2017
Soil Health Institute Launches Web-Based Soil Health Research Landscape Tool
The tool allows users to connect soil health problems, management actions, and desired outcomes with research addressing a user’s particular situation. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
January 17, 2017
The Future of Agriculture is in Your Han…
Can farmers actually reach the point of having too much information? Read More
Citrus
January 16, 2017
First Bee in Continental U.S. Listed as …
Rusty patched bumble bee receives protection from activities that could cause it to go extinct. Read More
Citrus
January 16, 2017
Precision Agriculture and Big Data Gaini…
Specialty crop adoption of hort tech to usher in new efficiencies and transparency. Read More
Citrus
January 15, 2017
New Transitional Certification Program t…
The program will be based on standards developed by the Organic Trade Association. Read More
Citrus
January 13, 2017
Vilsack Bids Fond Farewell in Early Exit…
With no clear-cut replacement in sight, U.S. agriculture secretary leaves one week before his term officially ends. Read More
Citrus
January 12, 2017
Season’s First Slip Seen In Latest Flori…
Despite slight drop in Valencias, silver linings found. Read More
Citrus
January 10, 2017
Was 2016 the Worst Weather Year Ever?
Near all-time records in average temperature and costly climate-related disasters make a strong case for dubious distinction. Read More
Citrus
January 9, 2017
Longtime Florida Citrus Grower Earns Cha…
Hugh English recognized for his support of UF/IFAS research. Read More
Citrus
January 3, 2017
Soil Health Institute Launches Web-Based…
The tool allows users to connect soil health problems, management actions, and desired outcomes with research addressing a user’s particular situation. Read More
Citrus
January 3, 2017
Research Shows Limited Sign of Soil Adap…
Studies indicate that soils will typically respond strongly to increasing temperature by releasing more carbon dioxide. Read More
Citrus
January 2, 2017
New Organic Farming Cost Share Options A…
Organic growers may apply for certification cost share reimbursements; expanded eligibility for transition and state certification costs. Read More
Citrus
January 1, 2017
FSMA Training Strategy Available
Aid to help growers understand role in new food safety rules released. Read More
Citrus
December 29, 2016
Are Today’s Agriculture Regulation…
Donald Trump has been clear that he is no fan of burdensome rules that stifle productivity. Read More
Citrus
December 28, 2016
Farm Industry Organizations Petition for…
Groups say more time is needed to prepare for compliance. Read More
Citrus
December 27, 2016
$3M Available for Organic Produce Resear…
USDA grants to help research, develop practices to strengthen the organic industry. Read More
Citrus
December 23, 2016
How Farming’s Deep Roots Can Inspi…
I tell my friends I have the best job around. Why? Because of this industry and the people who work in it. Read More
Citrus
December 21, 2016
3 Reasons Why 2017 Will be a Good Year f…
There are several trendlines to feel good about if you’re a grower in the Sunshine State. Read More
Citrus
December 19, 2016
Big Bucks Available for Agriculture-Tech…
$5 million in grants offered to help boost automation, address needs of changing climate. Read More