Custom-Targeted Sampling Program Reaches Exactly the Right Parents With a “Better for You” Snack Option

The Challenge

Cuties® California Mandarins wanted to drive awareness and purchases of mandarin oranges during the peak freshness season, in areas where the company had good distribution but wanted to increase sales.

The Solution

School Family Media’s proprietary database of PTO and PTA groups provided Cuties with a unique channel to increase awareness, product trial, and purchase intent during a key marketing window.

Schools in specific geographic areas were identified and contacted about their interest in distributing Cuties samples and coupons to parents and kids at PTO- and PTA-hosted school-family events.

Selected PTO and PTA groups received a coupon voucher for approximately 200 free Cuties mandarin oranges, to be hand-delivered to school families at an upcoming event such as a family fitness night or a family movie night where Cuties would make a great healthy snack option for both parents and kids. In addition to the free oranges, moms and dads were given a Cuties-sponsored parent message piece featuring healthy eating and lunchbox tips as well as a coupon for a future Cuties purchase.

The Results

Cuties gained not only the awareness and purchase intent they were looking for but also valuable, genuine word-of-mouth buzz and brand goodwill for supporting healthy snack choices at school and at home. In a follow-up survey, participating PTO and PTA groups expressed their appreciation and enthusiasm for the program.
• 81% felt more positive about the Cuties brand following the event.
• 85% purchased Cuties following the event.

And Cuties reported a 4% coupon redemption rate (300% higher than the 1% industry average coupon redemption rate that same year).*
*Source: Inmar Inc., “Consumers Use Over $3.5 Billion in Coupons”


felt more positive about the Cuties brand


purchased Cuties following the event


coupon redemption rate

“All of the Cuties were eaten and all of the coupons were taken. I heard good things during the event. Even later that evening, at non-school related sporting events, parents were still talking about it!”

Traci Anderson, PTA treasurer
Mills Elementary School, Austin, Texas

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