In December 2015, the California Dried Plum Board Nutrition Advisory Panel learned about an exciting new research study featuring prunes and space. The research showed that eating prunes may have bone-protective benefits for those exposed to ionizing radiation, including astronauts, cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, radiation workers and victims of nuclear accidents. In addition, prune powder was proven to be more effective in reducing undesired marrow cells’ responses to radiation compared to other interventions with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (e.g. ibuprofen) and actually prevented structural bone deficits in mice. Overall, initial research results looked promising in a few new areas including bone health benefits.

The results of the year-long space mission to help scientists better understand the effects of space on the human body was set to publish in February 2016, setting us up for a launch moment like never before. Through media storytelling, bold new headlines and social media outreach, we engaged media, thought leaders, RD influencers and consumers. Results included 420 broadcast airings from The Weather Channel and top DMA markets, and 294 print and online stories in a wide range of publications including Food & Wine, and Popular Science. Together, coverage gained a combined 100+ million impressions. Social media also played a huge role, securing 4.4 million impressions. As coverage grew, we knew we had successfully launched a whole new conversation space for prunes.

In December 2016, the California Dried Plum Board made news when it was named a finalist in three communications and marketing industry categories in the North America In2Sabre Awards for the campaign “Make Space for Dried Plums.”   Having already won an “Award of Excellence” in the Sponsored and Paid Media category, the team was named a finalist for Content Creation for Media Sites (Earned) and Meme.