- TYING INTO CONSUMER TRENDS: New integrated marketing campaigns drive traffic to produce departments and engage shoppers online.
- INNOVATION: New vending line promises to boost healthy snacking in schools and elsewhere.shoppers to all-natural meats.
MOST PRODUCE companies are just beginning to experiment with social media tools to promote their brands, but Del Monte Fresh Produce is already upping the ante, developing innovative integrated-marketing campaigns that use in-store signage and promotional materials to drive shoppers online, and online promotions to drive traffic to supermarkets.
For example, earlier this month, Del Monte Fresh launched “Teacher Monday: Cash for Classrooms,” an online contest that will award 100 prizes of $1,000 each for the purchase of school supplies and fresh fruit to teachers who get the most votes at Del Monte's consumer site, www.fruits.com. Participants can find out about the contest via POS signage or stickers on Del Monte produce items. And, each week of the promotion, the company has been distributing $25 coupon booklets for Del Monte Fresh Produce items to its Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
“Online brand experiences are extremely important in encouraging sales in today's marketplace, and produce should not be an exception,” explained Dionysios Christou, vice president of marketing for Del Monte Fresh Produce. “Consumers are online researching and interacting with brands, and if your company is not there, they are liable to forget about you.”
And, this summer, the company launched a new smartphone app called “Fresh Lifestyles.”
“As Del Monte and other companies continue to develop their apps, consumers will find that these programs are a great way to find out facts about the produce they are purchasing, produce seasonality, keep track of their fruit and vegetable intake each day and even find quick recipes at their finger tips,” Christou told SN.
The company isn't spending all of its time on the Internet, though. The new fresh-cut fruit and vegetable vending line that it launched last year promises to boost healthy snacking in schools, offices and other locations throughout the country. And, using a combination of syndicated sales data, local sales data and demographic data from Spectra, Del Monte Fresh is always working to make sure that its retail customers have an optimal assortment of products to build sales in produce departments as well.
“With the help of best-in-class systems, we can work with our retailers to determine proper product allocations that maximize potential consumer demand, improve displays and help reduce shrink,” Christou said.
COMPANY TO WATCH
EARTHBOUND FARMS: Earthbound Farms earned its claim to fame by being the first company to launch pre-washed, bagged salads in the mid-1980s. Today, the San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based company's 150 growers work 35,000 acres of organic farmland, which conserves almost 2 million gallons of petroleum, and avoids the use of 338,000 pounds of pesticides and more than 11 million pounds of synthetic fertilizer each year. Along the way, Earthbound Farms has earned a reputation for helping conventional retailers build sales of organic produce with marketing and promotion efforts, especially when they're linked to broader health and wellness campaigns.