This Reed avocado sticker is a good example of using a sticker to educate shoppers.

I often find growers are a bit ho-hum about their packaging. In particular, they seem very ho-hum about their PLU type stickers.

Often their thinking is…how can a sticker make a difference?

To see a sticker as a marketing tool, you’ve got to change your thinking. Any message that goes on your fresh produce is a sales and marketing tool. It costs you money, so therefore it needs to work hard to help drive your sales.

I am always on the hunt for great stickers, so I wanted to share this avocado sticker.

Using A Sticker To Educate
In much of the western world, the main avocado variety is Hass. There have been lots of initiatives by various countries to educate shoppers about Hass, its taste characteristics and most importantly, how to tell when a Hass avocado is ripe.

I can remember in NZ, way back when I did project work for the NZ Avocado industry, I was involved in creating POS that educated shoppers about how Hass avocados changed colour as they ripened. The challenge was always trying to find a compelling, but simple way, to educate shoppers about this important information.

However, there are lots of other avocado varieties that deserve consumer attention, but the challenge is how do you market them against a well-known variety like Hass? One way to do it is through the effective use of a sticker.

I have long been a fan of Reed avocados. I think they have quite a different flavour profile to a Hass and I like its more nutty taste. However, it is not well known and marketing it, given that it stays green when ripe, is a challenge. Hence, a compelling sticker can be an education tool as this photo shows. Let me break down what makes this sticker work.

Analysing A Successful Sticker
First, the sticker clearly differentiates this avocado as a Reed. No question there, it is the dominant message.

The second part of the sticker that catches my eye is the bit in green that says, “Skin stays green when ripe.” Given the Hass changes colour, clearly communicating the Reed stays green is important.

However, this sticker doesn’t leave the shopper hanging, like some do. It is one thing to know the Reed stays green when ripe, but that doesn’t answer the crucial shopper question – “How do I tell when it is ripe?” Look to the right of the sticker. The next line that catches the eye says, “Gently press my stem to see if I am ripe.”

While I believe these words could have been clearer (e.g. what is meant to happen to the stem – is it meant to not give to gentle pressure or is it meant to give? Remember, shoppers often don’t know so you have to be really clear).

Making A Good Sticker Better
Taken in its entirety, I think this sticker is effective at educating shoppers about the basic characteristics of the Reed.

However, there are also improvements that could have made this good sticker even better.

I would reduce the size of the “Marketed By” information. It is too dominant and takes up key ‘buy me message’ space on the sticker. Legally, some form of marketer ID needs to be there, but it could have been put around the inside of the circle, like where the New Zealand grown information is.

This would have opened up a good amount of space to focus on another aspect of produce that is also really important to the shopper – what does a Reed avocado taste like? With space now available, the words “Creamy Texture, Nutty Taste” could have been made larger and more visible, to educate shoppers on how the Reed’s taste is unique.

In a sea of products, with shoppers who are not as familiar with our products as we are, an educational sticker that communicates information of value can make all the difference in getting a sale.