The media world is one which thrives on what the industry has coined “newness”: the latest release, new product development or trailblazing innovation.  

However, in the world of fresh produce, the task at hand is often to come up with creative approaches to promote a single product which never changes. It’s a challenge almost unimaginable to other FMCG brands: one single SKU to promote, limited opportunities for NPD (unless you have a couple of decades to put in the work of commercialising a new variety) and being reliant upon the harvest to be able to stock shelves. No opportunity for a special Christmas flavour, a “new and improved” recipe or repackaging a winning product into a new format. 

Our experience of working with Pink Lady® for almost a decade, the apple brand leading the way when it comes to innovative comms in fresh produce (the marketing of Pink Lady® has been held up as the “benchmark for branded agriculture and food” by the Chartered Institute of Marketing) has necessitated a truly creative approach to our discipline. 

So, how can fresh produce brands build dynamic campaigns for an ‘evergreen’ product? 

Be laser-focused on your audience 

It’s important to understand that having only one product won’t appeal to everyone. To increase sales and customer loyalty, defining your target audience as precisely as possible is crucial. You can achieve this by gathering industry data, analyzing shopper insights, and conducting focus groups. By doing so, you’ll be able to identify the demographic most likely to be interested in your brand and product, allowing you to focus your marketing efforts on them. This way, you can achieve quick results and grow your business more efficiently.

Leverage brand partnerships 

One effective strategy for fresh produce brands to create buzz is to collaborate with similar brands to develop new products. The drinks industry is an ideal partner for fruit and vegetable brands. With the soft drinks market in the UK currently growing and valued at over £10 billion annually, partnerships in this category can be beneficial for both parties and provide a unique approach to generate interest and discussion.

Tap into your audience’s passions 

When you have a single or a limited number of products to offer, it is essential to have broad talking points that can interest your audience and create real brand loyalty. Avoid making all your communications solely about your product, as this will restrict the reach of any campaign. In the fresh produce sphere, the challenge is about building love for your brand just as much as your product. This is why it’s best to think big – and explore topics that might be decidedly outside of the sphere of food. For example, for Pink Lady® we created a campaign centred on wild swimming, in line with the brand’s mission to spark joy with every interaction it had with consumers. 

Invest in content to tell your story 

Social media provides endless opportunities to meet your business objectives, whether your focus is on building brand awareness, keeping your fans engaged, or reaching out to potential consumers who haven’t tried your product yet. To unlock the true potential of social media, it is important to invest in engaging content that tells your brand story. As experts in content strategy, we highly recommend investing in videos that can bring your product to life, have a long-lasting impact, attract your audience’s attention, and enrich your brand story.

Nurture your fanbase 

In fresh produce, there is the ever-present threat of customers trading away to another variety – particularly amidst a cost-of-living crisis, when a quarter of shoppers say rising grocery costs have led them to buy lower-quality products. This casts new light on the importance of brand-building: establish a reciprocal connection with shoppers and you’ll arm them with a reason to keep buying your product. Invest in your rapport with these loyal brand advocates with things like members-only exclusive content, giveaways and on-pack promotions to protect your market share. 

If you would like to discuss how MCG and The PHA Group could help your fresh produce brand stand out in 2024, get in touch with us to discuss your brief.