YottaMark Inc. partnered with LCI to promote HarvestMark, a technology-based solution to trace produce from farm to store shelf. Major food scares involving spinach, tomatoes, jalapenos and peanut products, with devastating costs to the food industry and consumer confidence, highlighted the critical need for a system to trace food quickly and effectively through the entire supply chain. LCI was charged with positioning HarvestMark as the leader in fresh food traceability to drive customer acquisition and consumer awareness.
LCI worked with YottaMark’s lobbying firm to identify key legislative and regulatory milestones around traceability. With the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosting a public meeting to discuss food traceability, LCI seized the opportunity to position YottaMark CEO Scott Carr as an expert. LCI leveraged Carr’s presentation at the FDA meeting to get on the radar of USA Today reporter Julie Schmit, who planned to attend. After making an introduction to USA Today at the FDA event, LCI secured an in-person deskside meeting for YottaMark – creating an opportunity to demo the HarvestMark product and discuss high-level traceability issues. Because existing food traceability systems were fragmented and complex, LCI recommended in-person meetings and demonstrations as a key strategy. To powerfully illustrate the ease and ‘wow’ factor of the HarvestMark solution, LCI executed a New York media tour with YottaMark spokespersons. LCI also leveraged YottaMark’s participation at trade shows in Washington DC and Orlando, Florida to secure desk-side meetings with top-tier regional journalists. LCI also targeted key influencers in the food space to help establish credibility for HarvestMark and cultivate third-party endorsement.
LCI transformed a planned USA Today round-up story on emerging traceability technologies into a stand-alone feature story on HarvestMark, with photo of CEO Scott Carr and traceable watermelons. As the #1 circulation newspaper in the United States, USA Today coverage generated more than 16 million impressions. LCI secured in-person meetings for HarvestMark spokespersons with Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle, San Francisco Chronicle and Orlando Sentinel. LCI also facilitated introductions to author and expert, Michael Pollan, and Curt Ellis, producer of the film King Corn, to help raise awareness of HarvestMark among key influencers.