June 30, 2013

Fruit and Vegetable Packaging Needs to Loosen Up and Have a Little Fun

One point I make every now and then in the magazine columns I write is tell produce growers and marketers to, “loosen up and have a little fun.” Now, I don’t mean from a life philosophy point of view, but from a packaging and branding point of view. Let me explain.  Fresh Produce Is Facing the Most Diverse Buyer Demographics in History As fresh produce growers and marketers, today we are facing the most diverse buyer demographics in history. We have aging Baby Boomers shopping alongside plugged in Gen-Y’s, we have men shopping beside consumers with smart phones scanning QR  
June 27, 2013

What’s The Cost of a Bad Apple

A few years ago, I spoke at a national retail grocery conference. My presentation was titled, Revolutionising The Produce Shopping Experience – What Does a Bad Apple Cost Your Business?  It raised questions about how we measure and evaluate a produce department’s success. Given the fantastic audience feedback, I realised this topic hit a nerve. Do KPI’s Effectively Measure a Produce Department’s Success? Most produce department’s measure their success using key numeric criteria: percent of store share, gross profit, percent wage cost, percent waste, etc. It is uncommon to find anything other than numbers as success measurement tools. What if  
June 25, 2013

Would A Produce Department Survive A Reality Show Vote?

I am not a big watcher of reality television. But on the odd occasion, I do sit down and have a look. What I like is the black and whiteness of ‘the vote.’ Someone either stays…or they get voted off. There is no ambiguity; the audience has spoken! Translating this to fresh produce, I am curious to know if most fresh produce departments would survive the audience voting process if shoppers could vote in that way. Are Fresh Produce Departments Really Customer Focused? I am pondering all this based on a conversation with a produce marketer the other day. He  
June 23, 2013

Branding Produce or What’s In A Name

It is always interesting to track fresh produce brand conversations online. As a shopper driven marketer, I like the insight it gives into the shopper mindset. I recently came across this post on www.openideo.com. Branding Vegetables! There is huge opportunity in the vegetable category for branding. Most fruits and vegetables are sold without brand names. A few exceptions are Chiquita and Dole. When a person thinks of ‘banana’ they probably think if ‘Chiquita’, a brand almost synonymous with the fruit. But why is that not the case for apples? We know types of apples – Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith –