With market research predicting that fresh fruit and vegetables are set to remain the most popular choice for consumers looking for their five a day (Mintel), market value and volume is also expected to grow, especially for French summer fruits (apricots, peaches, nectarines, melons, plums, cherries, grapes and pears), given their well-established reputation for quality. As a result, Interfel – the French trade body for fresh fruit and vegetables – is well underway with a two-part promotional campaign targeting trade (retailers, buyers and importers) as well as wholesalers and independent retailers throughout the UK.
“The UK imported approximately 8.7 million tonnes of French summer fruits at a value of 11.7 million Euros between April and November in 2009,” said Daniel Soares, Marketing Export Manager at Interfel. “Of this, apricots were by far the biggest seller making up just over 2 million tonnes of that amount and increasing in value by 33.3% since 2008. Our goal is to help make France’s delicious range of other summer fruits – peaches, nectarines, melons, plums, cherries, grapes and pears – more widely available to UK consumers as well as their first choice when shopping for summer fruits.”
The first part of the promotional campaign – targeting retailers, buyers and importers – took place on 7 May 2010 at Maze restaurant in London during a French summer fruits roundtable event attended by professionals from Interfel, members of the UK trade, and a representative for the French summer fruit growers. All agreed that UK consumers are ready to pay a premium for French summer fruits because they understand their added value. In addition, future plans for R&D and marketing French summer fruits in the UK were outlined by the French. Activities under consideration for future marketing campaigns in the UK include competitions, two for one offers, recipe cards and sampling.
The second part of the promotional campaign, targeting wholesalers and independent retailers, will take place this summer, and will centre around two of the largest fruit and vegetable wholesale markets in the UK, New Spitalfields and Manchester, using a push/pull promotion to help increase their sales as follows:
• Two visits will be made to the markets during July and August to remind wholesalers about French summer fruits. Wholesalers will also be offered POS to decorate their stands (posters, buntings + beanie hats to wear). The best decorated stand will be awarded a prize during the following visit.
• In addition, to help raise visibility and promote French summer fruits towards the consumer, the wholesalers will be given special POS kits (bunting, paper bags) to distribute to their customers for use in independent stores or on market stalls.
• During the second visit (August) pictures of the participating stands will be taken and all entrants will be asked to complete a tie-breaker question about why they love French summer fruits. A winner in each market will be selected to receive a case of Champagne.