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OctCLOVErfest Promo Aims to Turn Garlic into Spooky Family Fun

October 23, 2018

Move aside Easter eggs and jack-o’-lanterns: the US-based produce supplier I Love Produce is this year launching a novel Halloween promotional campaign which aims to make garlic the new trend in holiday food decorating for consumers in North America.

The company, which supplies produce such as garlic, shallots and ginger to a range of retail, food service and industrial customers in the US, exhibited its new Octcloverfest promotion at the PMA Fresh Summit trade show held October 18-29 in Orlando, Florida. The promotion hinges on garlic’s role in European folklore as a ward against supernatural spirits, in order to associate garlic with Halloween. Octcloverfest encourages families to celebrate Halloween by turning whole garlic bulbs into “Monster Garlic” figurines using food-based paint and non-toxic markers.

“Halloween garlic keeps away evil spirits and vampires,” Jim Provost, President of I Love Produce told Produce Report. “Just like eggs are for Easter, garlic is a natural because it’s easy to decorate, the skin is white and is like a canvas, and you can hide them to have a fun scavenger hunt for kids as another Halloween activity.” Provost also points out that, unlike jack-o’-lanterns carved from pumpkins, garlic is relatively shelf-stable, so “Monster Garlic” will provide enjoyment to families well beyond Halloween.

I Love Produce is looking at Octcloverfest as a long-term campaign that will evolve over several years as more retailers feature in-store informational materials about how to make Monster Garlic and the trend catches on with consumers. For this first year, I Love Produce is providing retailers with boxes of promotional materials, including posters, audio and video materials and instructional fliers to teach consumers how to make Monster Garlic and encouraging them to share photos of their creations to Instagram tagged with #OctCLOVEerfest. It has also brought on the spooky character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark to serve as a spokeswoman for the campaign.

If successful, the promotional campaign can provide inspiration for other industry segments and produce suppliers around the world looking to energize the image and boost seasonal sales of certain produce items. Although I Love Produce’s market is limited to North America, Provost predicts that all around the world, “people will copy this. And that’s fine with us: whatever people do to make garlic more famous and move more garlic, that’s a good thing.”

Images: MZMC/I Love Produce

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