What’s Red and Green and Read All Over?

New U.S. Apple Association Website More Consumer and Industry Friendly—From Desktops to Tablets  

Vienna, Va. (April 25, 2016) – Not too long ago, the old adage, “What’s black and white and read all over?” referring to then-primary source of information, the newspaper, was right on time.  But, along came the Internet, and in just a few more short years, once-modern websites won’t work for complicated search engine algorithms that show favoritism to clean, visual sites that use text judiciously and—most importantly—are “responsive” to any-sized screen, from Android phones to iPads to our favorite dinosaur, the desktop computer.

U.S. Apple Association (USApple) has released its first new site, still housed at usapple.org, in more than a decade in an effort to better reach consumers, industry members, and others “where they live”—whether that’s on mobile devices or at their desks.

“The key here was developing a modern, mobile-reactive site that speaks to our many audiences in a more friendly and visually-stimulating way without losing our equity in being the voice of the apple industry,” commented Wendy Brannen, USApple’s Director of Consumer Health and Public Relations.

Brannen managed the project and hired WHOISCARRUS, a micro-advertising agency based in Orlando, Fla., that has a strong background in web development.  WHOISCARRUS helped the commodity group maintain key components of the site that address its position on serious topics ranging from food safety to ag labor reform while increasing the appeal to consumers and usability for USApple members.  The site is also a resource for media, foodservice professionals, nutritionists, educators, retailers, and anyone else involved or interested in the apple industry.

“On the old site, we had reams of information—from PDFs on issues dating back a decade to a laundry list of fun facts about apples that just weren’t that fun the way they were laid out,” according to Brannen. “Jeremy Carrus and his team did an outstanding job helping us repackage really interesting health and history nuggets into a more digestible format.”

The new site, she says, also incorporates, “our “Blogging for Apples” blog—which before was oddly housed on a separate domain. Now, folks can easily find delicious on-trend recipes, fascinating grower profiles, and ways to get involved in our fun seasonal PR campaigns.”  And, yes, with so many people thinking red and green when they think apples, there is a healthy dose of those two colors on the site, along with a better visual representation of all facets of the industry—from orchard shots to food photography, juices, sauces, and slices, blooms to field bins.  And, with consumers ever-hungry for information on where their food comes from, a ‘Meet the Growers’ section is prominent on the home page.

Important to industry members, a new, password-protected section of the site includes a member database and access to the association’s publications—which Jim Bair, USApple’s President and CEO, says are a true member asset, “Our staff compiles useful industry information in the form of storage reports, annual crop forecasts, and real-time issues updates that are extremely timely and relevant.” Those reports available only to members will now be just a password click away.  Members can also easily renew their membership or find event information.

Another exciting benefit of the new site is an orchard map for consumers to find apple farms near their homes or travel destinations. Inclusion in the map, which is still being populated and not live just yet, will be offered to all members in good standing.

Brannen summarizes, “This is a tool that has long been missing in our toolbox. Sure, there is great emphasis on social media and blogs these days, but we needed this home base for people to access our most important information—whether that is a legislative aid researching our position on the Farm Bill, a consumer seeking health data and recipes, or a journalist seeking the latest industry statistics.  To finally have a space that now answers all those needs on any platform users prefer is just phenomenal!”

About USApple

U.S. Apple Association is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business. More information on the organization is available at USApple.org.

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