Holiday Trail Map Guides Customers to Pecans
The Texas Pecan Growers Association shares one way it's helping members promote their pecans this holiday season.
In its own effort to help growers promote their crop, the Texas Pecan Growers Association releases its third annual Holiday Trail Map this month. The TPGA Holiday Trail Map is a promotional tool that the association offers its members. Published on the TPGA website, the Holiday Trail Map marks retail stores and farms selling nuts and other pecan products throughout the holidays. This year’s map includes TPGA members with farm stands or stores throughout Texas and parts of Louisiana.
TPGA’s Associate Director of Membership, Erin Diserens, says that the map began as a simple benefit the association decided it could offer to members who needed additional marketing support.
“Although we do promote growers that sell pecans year-round, there was a group that was missing—people that were small growers that only have their crop in the holiday season and sell it during the holiday season. This map is really for those folks. It’s a way to showcase part of our membership that we usually don’t get to just because they feel like they can’t be included in year-round promotions,” she explains.
Beyond helping TPGA membership, the Holiday Trail Map serves another purpose.
“We also see a need for people who want to buy pecans during the holidays,” Diserens adds. “They want somewhere to find high-quality pecans. Or they’re traveling for the holidays and want to pick up gifts along the way. So, while this map helps our membership, it also helps consumers pinpoint those pecans.”
Smaller pecan producers and retail shops often get lost in the holiday rush and may not always feel like they can reach new customers. Through the Holiday Trail Map, TPGA tries to help these smaller pecan growers find their voice in the holiday market without spending thousands of dollars on marketing.
TPGA’s Holiday Trail Map began in 2018. That first year, Diserens mapped out participating members using Google Maps and then shared the map on the association’s website. She then sent the map to the TPGA email list and gave a press release to Texas media outlets to share with consumers. With each passing year, the Holiday Trail Map continues to evolve.
“Each year we’ve been trying to look at what we did last year and how we could make it better. So, this year, instead of just having a Google Map, we are making an infographic,” Diserens says. “It’s a little prettier, easier to read, and something that media outlets like to pick up.”
In previous years, the TPGA Holiday Trail Map has been published in local newspapers, shared by Texas Monthly, and promoted by the Texas Pecan Board.
“I’ve heard from a few outlets that are really excited for it. They like using the map,” Diserens, TPGA’s Associate Director of Membership, shares. “Media outlets also want to promote things that are special during the holidays. It’s what makes those magazines or newspapers stand out, so I know they’ve really enjoyed using the map when it has fit into their timeframe.”
TPGA gives members the option to have their company listed on the official map; it can be the grower’s orchard, retail shop, or farm stand. TPGA also includes the company’s name and contact information for potential customers.
The Holiday Trail Map doesn’t end once the holidays are over. It lives year-round on the TPGA and accessible to all visitors.
“During the holiday season, we always refer people—callers, visitors, potential pecan consumers—to the Holiday Trail Map, specifically through October and into January. Once those months pass, we direct them to ‘Where to Buy Pecans’ on tpga.org because more growers on that site sell pecans year-round than those on the trail map,” Diserens says.
As harvest picks up, the excitement to share this crop with holiday shoppers climbs. Pecan producers are ready to get their name out there and their pecans into customers’ hands. The TPGA Holiday Trail Map not only provides a space for growers to promote their nuts but also represents a tool for consumers to find pecan gifts and goodies.
“I think the Holiday Trail Map will prove more helpful to consumers now than in previous years. People have been doing quarantine for a really long time, so they’re kind of anxious to just do anything. So, you’re having more families going on road trips or just taking a drive out of town,” she explains. “You have people trying to figure out what are things that they can do where they feel safe. And this trail map helps people out as they’re traveling more in their vehicle and looking for interesting stops.”