Re-positioning an organic grape brand to tap into a new market
Borderland Organics is Australia’s largest organic grape grower. As a second generation family farm, their move to grow organic grapes was bold – and not without struggle during the conversion period. But they were committed to it being successful as they were raising four young kids on the farm and no longer wanted to use synthetic chemicals.
While growing organic grapes was a success…the challenge was sales. Packed with only the farm name and positioned in organic (& out of the way) cabinets at retailers they weren’t able to draw the attention of mainstream fruit consumers and they were losing sales. To compensate they were selling a percentage of their organic grapes as conventional. How could they stay true to their organic principles, yet make a sustainable living?
With the FreshInsights™ process, Lisa Cork researched the grape and organic grape category extensively. Research showed the organic category was evolving beyond hard-core ‘green’ consumers. With this in mind, Lisa travelled to Bordlerland Organics and ran a one-day brainstorming session to explore how they could use the changing nature of the organic consumer to their advantage.
After reviewing the research and considering consumer needs, Lisa, Nelson and Zoë created a new strategy: They would be the first in Australia to sell their organic grapes as ‘free-from synthetic chemicals and sulphur-dioxide grapes’ in order to appeal to mainstream consumers. By not positioning their grapes as organic and instead taking advantage of the new ‘free from’ trend, their grapes could move them out of the tiny organics section and into the conventional grapes selling area without loosing the value and integrity.
A new brand was needed to implement this successfully, Lisa and the team created the brand ‘Naturalls’, the tagline ‘We’re all good’, and packaging to reflect the free-from nature of this new mainstream grape offer. They also helped Borderland Organics create POS and retail education materials to help Nelson and Zoë sell in the concept to their retail partners.
It was also decided to keep the established Borderlands brand and loyalty intact – and therefore keeping a foot in each camp.
Early success has been two-fold – the development of a strong branded label with clear ‘free-from’ messaging along with retailers adopting the new product into the mainstream fruit and veg section means a positive start. The grape season is early to mid 2017 so stay tuned for sales results.