Pineapple marketers boast of an array of tools to promote the fruit, but some of those marketers say they look to retailers as the key to building sales.
Promotional displays are perhaps the most important marketing asset for Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., said Drew Schwartzhoff, director of marketing and sourcing.
“These displays, whether they are the ‘world’s largest,’ or a tropical wave theme, call out extra attention in the produce aisle,” he said.
In April 2012, C.H. Robinson and Orem, Utah-based retail chain Macey’s Food & Drug created the “World’s Largest Pineapple Display” in Pleasant Grove, Utah, which led to increased store traffic by nearly 10% and boosted produce sales by 15% overall, Schwartzhoff said.
“C.H. Robinson supports retailers by providing materials on how to use a pineapple in new ways, grilling and recipe ideas,” he said.
The company also ran a holiday gift tag promotion on Tropicana pineapples around Easter and Christmas to encourage shoppers to use the fruit in different ways, he said.
Consistent supply also is important, said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing with Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce, which says it is the top supplier of fresh pineapples globally.
Retailers have a steady supply of the company’s Gold Extra Sweet pineapples, Christou said.
Social media and in-store promotions are key marketing tools for Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita Brands International, company spokeswoman Abbye Lakin said.
Coral Gables, Fla.-based Turbana Corp., which markets the Fyffes brand, tries to meet each individual customer’s needs, said Alan Dolezal, vice president of sales.
Turbana works with customers to design and implement promotions that take advantage of each customer’s strengths, he said.
Activities include in-store product sampling and demonstrations, cross-couponing/promotion with other Turbana fruits and display contests, he said.
Point of purchase is the key to success for Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce Inc., said Robert Schueller, director of public relations.
Customized signs and recipe cards often are part of the equation, Schueller said.
“Increased publicity and interest in the food media has really helped bring about more awareness about this fruit,” he said.
In-store programs also work for Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole Fruit Co., said Bil Goldfield, communications manager.
“We find demonstrations and sampling (remain) the single-best methods for the continuing consumer education and increasing sales for those resistant to trying pineapples,” he said.
Sampling can lead to a doubling or even tripling of sales, he said.
Goldfield said secondary displays and cross-promoting with other Dole products like bananas and providing recipes and nutrition information on point-of-sale materials has also been successful.
Miami-based Chestnut Hill Farms works with its supplier customers to drive consumption among end consumers, said Steve Benchimol, general manager.
“We prefer to do local action in stores. We do in-store demos. We’ll do some recipes, display and distribute the recipes with pineapples and prepared meals,” he said.
Pineapples distributed with recipes are the ones the consumer will try, Benchimol said.