Courtesy Frieda’s Inc.A good marketing strategy is to work with floral departments to add baby pineapples to floral displays, according to Frieda’s Inc. U.S. per-capita usage of fresh pineapple nearly quadrupled from 1.5 pounds in 1980 to 5.69 pounds in 2010, according to the USDA, and marketers hope to drive that figure even higher.
Pineapples represent one of Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole Fresh Fruit Co.’s four primary operating divisions. In the most recent annual report on its website, Dole reported it had grown and sold more than 32 million boxes in 2010.
One of the ways Dole markets pineapples is by reaching its “consumer fanbase” through social media, said Bil Goldfield, communications manager.
Through social media, Dole plans to maintain a dialogue with consumers about its marketing campaigns and promotions throughout the year.
Social media also will be used to direct consumers to Dole’s retailer partners who host events or run promotions, Goldfield said.
This year, consumers also can expect to see Dole pineapples and other fresh fruit promoted through cross-promotions, movie tie-ins and summer events, he said.
Demos and promos
Demonstrations, cross-promotions and seasonal advertising are good ways to increase consumer purchases of pineapples, Goldfield said.
Demonstrations in particular are important in reaching consumers who might be reluctant to buy fresh pineapple.
“One of the biggest obstacles in purchasing is consumers’ unfamiliarity or (lack of) comfort in cutting and using pineapple,” Goldfield said.
One of the best ways to get them to try pineapple is to offer samples in the store. Offering recipes and demonstrating them in the store can be a “tremendous draw for consumers” who want ideas on how to use pineapples, Goldfield said.
Alan Dolezal, vice president of sales for Coral Gables, Fla.-based Turbana Corp., agrees demonstrations are vital.
Pineapples sell well at retail when they are priced low — around $1.99 or less each — but that might only stimulate one-time purchases.
“We’d like to see consumers get pineapples into their regular pattern of purchasing,” Dolezal said.
A typical retail price for pineapple is $3.99 to $4.99 each, depending on sizing.
Offering fresh-cut pineapple can increase sales.
Dolezal said there’s a trend toward more pineapple being sold at retail as fresh-cut products rather than as whole fruit.
Dolezal expects the fresh-cut trend to continue, especially because retailers often offer cored and cut pineapple at the same price they offer whole fruit.
World Variety Produce Inc., Los Angeles, which markets under the Melissa’s brand, promotes pineapples as part of its tropical line.