Cross-merchandising and in-store sampling prove successful tactics for increasing pineapple consumption, marketers say.
“We see a significant lift and an increase in sales with demonstrations,” said Bill Sheridan, executive vice president of sales for Banacol Marketing Corp., Coral Gables, Fla.
Sheridan said it is important to continue to reintroduce consumers to the taste of fresh pineapples.
“We find that demo-ing more frequently helps reinforce the item’s taste and year-round availability of the product,” Sheridan said.
“In order to sell more pineapple at retail, the fruit should be promoted and sampled regularly. Demos have proven to be an excellent tool in generating initial trial as well as repeat purchase,” said Alan Dolezal, vice president of sales for Coral Gables-based Turbana Corp.
“We are always looking to advertise and promote our pineapple through trade shows, advertising and in-store promotions,” said Pablo Jimenez, marketing manager for the Mexican Pineapple Exporters Association (AMEP).
Jimenez said the association is trying to increase consumer awareness for Mexican-grown pineapples since the majority of U.S. pineapples come from Costa Rica.
“In-store programs are very useful so consumers can see the difference among our fruit and the rest,” he said.
Robert Schueller, director of public relations for World Variety Produce, Los Angeles, said marketing pineapples is especially important because they aren’t grown domestically so they don’t have a particular season.
“The most popular times to promote are leading up to the holidays, from the end of November to Valentine’s Day, as well as the traditional ‘picnic holidays.’
“Summer is the strongest stretch, seasonally, lined up with when kids get out of school. Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July are all popular,” Schueller said.
Banacol offers cross-merchandising with other tropical fruits.
“We take several tropical items, such as bananas, plantains, yucca and pineapples and offer a point-of-purchase coupon for some money off with that grouping,” Sheridan said.
Turbana also takes advantage of cross-promotions.
“There are many excellent pineapple cross-merchandising tie-ins such as ham, other tropical fruits such as bananas, and fixings for Oriental style stir-fry dishes,” Dolezal said.
Cross-promotions can be especially helpful around the holidays.
“The major holidays also present excellent opportunities to promote pineapple and drive retail sales. Other than its natural complement to ham, pineapple can be used in a multitude of holiday dishes,” Dolezal said.
Other promotional efforts revolve around simply getting the attention of consumers by creating a fun display using point-of-sale materials.
“We offer a variety of customized POS materials, such as inflatable pineapples, nutritional informational, and price cards,” said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for Del Monte Fresh Produce, Coral Gables.
Social media and other online-based marketing strategies are aimed at interacting with younger audiences.
Dole has been successful at reaching consumers through its social media efforts on other fruits, such as through its Dole Bananas Facebook page, which has nearly 580,000 “likes.”
“We are looking to expand that in 2013 to address Dole’s fresh pineapples as well,” said Bil Goldfield, communications manager for Dole Fresh Fruit, Westlake Village, Calif.
In 2012 Del Monte Fresh created its unofficial mascot, Monte the Monkey, which has influenced various promotions on Facebook and in-store. Del Monte Fresh also has a website dedicated to interacting with children.
“Our website, fruits.com, has a kid-friendly section that hosts games, healthy eating tips and recipes that focus on both entertaining and educating children,” Christou said.
The company also tries to reach older children.
“We are currently running a spring break promotion with a strong social media foundation that is geared toward college students in an attempt to engage them with our brand,” Christou said.