What Does A Man, A Chook and a Sticker Have To Do With Fresh Produce Branding?

A sticker and a chicken provide a lesson in simple, on-pack communication.

That is a great question.

I know I go on and on ad nauseam about niche marketing – about picking a target audience and then talking specifically to them. If you are an avid reader of this Packaging Matters blog, you will know I think one size fits all marketing is old school…passé’, yet it is the norm in fresh produce.

One could potentially argue it was the norm in poultry as well…until…the chicken marketers in NZ set out to reinvent chicken…for men.

Take a look at this photo. It is simply a fresh whole chicken (chook down under) but with one MAJOR difference. It is a chook with a sticker.

And what does that sticker say? “The meal man does best.”

Now I don’t know about you, but once upon a time ‘man’ used to own steak and sausages on the BBQ as the ‘meal man does best.’ So what’s changed?

What’s changed is the savvy chook marketers have realised they could reinvent chicken and niche market it to men. Not only did they decide to market it to men, but they got the ego a bit involved and told the blokes not only can you cook a chook, but actually, it is the meal you do best.

I love it! It is so simple…but so clever. I mean, who doesn’t like their ego stroked?

What can we, as produce marketers, learn?

What Vegetable Do Men Do Best? And Why Hasn’t Someone Owned This Space?
Well, what vegetable do men do best? Given fresh produce rarely segments by gender (or by anything for that matter) we have no idea what vegetable men do best. That space is wide open to be owned.

And what about fruit?

I spoke at a citrus conference a few years ago and talked about a niche opportunity existing for ‘man-sized’ mandarins. The audience laughed. I was serious.

Think about it. Citrus is good for men. Men like ease and convenience just as women do. There is nothing manly (nor feminine for that matter) about wrestling with an orange just to get to an edible bit. So why not a ‘man-sized’ mandarin?

Niche Opportunities Are The Way of the Future
Seriously – niche opportunities are the way of the future if you are a produce company seeking value growth.

The chicken story shows us several things:
1. Packaging to communicate a message doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
2. Sometimes, you simply have to assert you own a space – and as a result, you will own it.
3. When you flatter the ego, sales follow.

I am not naïve. This chicken campaign was supported by television and other traditional media. But, think of the power of that wee little sticker. It brought it all together on-pack. Even if you hadn’t seen the ad, the message “the meal man does best” was compelling, intriguing and would have prompted sales.

A round of flapping wings (e.g. applause) for a good, sound campaign supported by well executed packaging.