British Tomato Fortnight 2018 #BTF18

Date: 30 August 2018

Julie Woolley

I don’t know about the rest of TGA’s members, but when the matter of extending British Tomato Week to British Tomato Fortnight was first discussed – I wasn’t over enthusiastic. I understood the reasoning behind the change, longer lead times for the media, more opportunities for TV and radio coverage and plenty of time to send samples to chefs and food bloggers, however, I was concerned that extending the time scales would dilute the impact of the message plus British Tomato Week was already out there in ‘food-land’ ……. However, I don’t mind admitting that I was wrong and the advice from Stand PR (who are actually the experts in this arena) was spot on! In fact, the whole event spilled over into three weeks of fantastic publicity.

During the build-up to the event we had superb coverage in a variety of food magazines, mainly concentrating on our new specially created recipes, and the first week was about as ‘whizzy’ as they come; requests for samples, discussions with food bloggers, radio interviews, radio quizzes, in-store tastings, cookery demonstrations, on-line features and recipes and so much happening on social media that I found myself tweeting and posting and liking and retweeting at all hours of the day and night!

During the middle weekend, we were treated to a British tomato extravaganza on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen Live when Chefs Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman visited A P S Produce on the Isle of Wight – what an amazing piece of coverage and all credit to Brian Moralee for making it all look so relaxed and easy. British tomatoes also received several mentions on the live shows on Saturday 26 May and again on Saturday 9 June.

Weeks two and three were a little more relaxed but still plenty of interaction with food bloggers, more media coverage plus even more social media coverage.

Full details of coverage, events and feedback will be presented by Stand Agency at the Tomato Conference on 27th September.

Julie Woolley

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