Omni Hotels Culinary Chefs Star in New California Raisin Industry Ad Campaign

Press Contact:
Melinda Coffman
California Raisin Marketing Board
(559) 248-0287
melinda@raisins.com

Christine Connelly
Director, Corporate Communications
Omni Hotels
(972) 871-5656
cconnelly@omnihotels.com
Omni Hotels Culinary Chefs Star in New California Raisin Industry Ad Campaign

The California Raisin Marketing Board’s (CRMB) newest advertising features high-profile culinary chefs promoting California Raisins. It showcases 11 chefs from luxury-level Omni Hotels, featured in a group shot supporting California raisins.

“The Marketing Board’s (CRMB) strategy in partnering with Omni Hotels is to remind chef ‘decision-makers’ in high volume restaurant venues to specify ‘California Raisins’ when placing their raisin orders to ward off foreign imports of inferior quality,” according to Karla Stockli, vice president of marketing for the California Raisin Marketing Board.

The new ad, debuting nationally this month, is featured in leading food industry trade publications such as Food Arts, Nation’s Restaurant News, Plate, Flavors & the Menu, Restaurant Hospitality and a variety of consumer publications including Better Homes and Gardens, Food & Wine, Cooking Light and Good Housekeeping. “Our goal in this campaign is to remind our culinary chef partners across the country that close to 5,000 California raisin growers are relying on their brand loyalty to stay in business and to preserve this important component of California agriculture,” stated Pete Penner, marketing chairman for the Board.

“This special partnership between the CRMB and Omni Hotels began more than a year ago with ‘culinary ideation seminars’ that introduced us to the quality of California raisin products and their versatile flavors. We are very excited about the possibilities for applications in our current and new menu items,” noted Fernando Salazar, corporate director of food and beverage operations for Omni Hotels.

Omni Hotels recently was ranked highest among upscale hotel brands, according to J.D. Power and Associates 2005 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study(SM). The study measures overall guest satisfaction in six areas including food and beverage, which specifically sited Omni’s aggressive approach to dining. The brand offers sensible luxury accommodations at 40 hotels and resorts located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“Our ‘Look Who’s Cooking with California Raisins’ celebrity chef campaign and our complementary outreach efforts have consistently reinforced the value of incorporating raisins into our chef partners menu repertoire — adding unexpected flavors and a sweet-savory balance to a variety of dishes. This latest creative effort allows the CRMB to utilize the expertise of respected chefs to influence mainstream chefs in volume foodservice to create demand and provide a higher return to our growers,” Stockli concluded. The California Raisin Marketing Board was created by a State Marketing Order in 1998 and is 100 percent grower funded. Its mission is to support and promote the increased use of California-grown raisins and sponsor research of the fruit’s nutritional benefits. To learn more about the California Raisin Marketing Board, visit its website at www.calraisins.org.

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