Lone Star Citrus Growers

Revolutionising the Grapefruit Category: Reinventing a declining category – and generating more sales and profits in the process.

For Lone Star Citrus in Mission, Texas, the arrival of a corporate competitor in their region threatened to change their future forever. Deep marketing pockets and new innovative branding impacted Lone Star and they were losing business. This, coupled with the overall decline of the grapefruit category, could have spelled gloom for this multi-generational family farming business.

During the discovery phase of FreshInsights™ process it was obvious that for 20 years grapefruit consumption has fallen drastically. In order to understand what was behind the decline Lisa analysed purchaser demographics, consumption trends, global packaging, competitor branding and positioning strategies. She looked at USA’s top food bloggers, leading magazines and even consumer blogs.

She found that the grapefruit category was a mess for shoppers. The data hinted at what consumers needed to eliminate the confusion, so a ‘confusion-busting’ strategy was applied covering:
• Grapefruit are a unique fruit; both loved…and hated.
• Make grapefruit an easier fruit with less work to enjoy it.
• Target consumers are highly educated with a high income
• Reduce confusion by helping consumers pick a ‘good’ one.

These findings were a paradigm shift for Lone Star.

An innovative new consumer brand was underway, one that owned the territory of ‘winter,’ ‘sweet’ & ‘tree-ripened’. USA customers understand that winter is when Texas grapefruit tastes best (Californian grapefruit cannot own this). Tree ripe fruit = sweet, so this also aids the taste selection. Winter is a key time for consumers dieting and retailers needing new season fruit to fill the shelves.

This new brand Winter Sweetz™ eliminates confusion, speaks to existing and new consumers alike and is designed to drive demand, sales and value per sale.

Because Winter Sweetz™ started with the shopper in mind, it has quickly captured consumer attention. Lone Star are thrilled with their new packaging and has already created strong buyer interest and early season sales.

“I saw Lisa’s case studies and discovered she received the PMA marketing award. I knew I’d found a person who could provide goal-oriented designs backed by research. With her help, we were able to maximize marketing opportunities through existing avenues. Already after launch our pre-season orders are up with buyers are clamouring to be the first.

— April Flowers, Lone Star Citrus Growers, Texas, USA