Monday, April 26, 2010

Marketers say informed consumers are key to success

Excerpts from an article in The Packer Special section: Tropical Fruit Marketing by Abraham Mahshie published on 04/23/2010 02:59PM

Suppliers said they are building varietal knowledge of tropical fruit through education, sampling, signage and promotions.
As multiple varieties make their way to produce shelves, suppliers said acreage and volumes of lesser-known but better-tasting varieties are increasing.

Despite gains in retailer differentiation, suppliers still agree that more educational and sampling strategies need to be put into place to better inform consumers.“

Brand name versus variety Some tropicals suppliers have noted confusion as to whether a piece of fruit’s name is a brand or a variety. “We do push the trademarked Caribbean Red because we are different from the Mexican papayas,” Mary Ostlund, marketing director for Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., said of Brooks’ Belize-grown maradol papayas.“People are coming around to learn that the Mexican papaya tastes this way but some people prefer the taste of the Caribbean Red. It really is a brand recognition that we are building and it’s an important recognition to build.”

Ostlund said the same is true for the company’s green-skin Slimcado avocados.“People will think that it’s a marketing thing, which it is, but it’s also a way to tell folks, ‘This is not a hass avocado, this is a different avocado,’” she said. “‘It has a different, lighter taste, and by the way, you can use it more frequently to top your salads with, or on a sandwich or a burger.’”Ostlund said most consumers don’t give much thought to whether the name is a brand name or variety name, but it helps them to identify Brooks’ fruit when they return to the grocery store.