As the North American landscape blooms during the summer, so do ideas to cross-promote berries.
“There are a lot of interesting opportunities out there to cross-promote with different dessert and cakes and stuff like that, especially through strawberry channels,” said Keith Mixon, president of Winter Haven, Fla.-based SunnyRidge Farm Inc. “We’ll see what happens in the next couple of months on different ideas out there, with opportunities actually fleshed out.”
There are numerous such opportunities, marketing agents said, where berries are concerned.
“I see some (retailers) put some little shortcakes tied in. I see some of the whips tied in,” said Bob Von Rohr, marketing and customer relations manager for Sunny Valley International Inc., Glassboro, N.J.
Grand Junction, Mich.-based MBG Marketing is doing a promotion with cereal companies, said Frank Bragg, MBG’s chief executive officer.
“The cereal companies offer a dollar off coupon on a pint of blueberries,” Bragg said. “You buy the two together and you get this dollar off. The cereal guys are very interested in trying to get fresh fruit with their cereal items. It’s working very well.”
There are plenty of other ideas out there, said Art Galletta, sales manager for Atlantic Blueberry Co. Inc., Hammonton, N.J.
“Cross-promoting with the other berries has some synergy. Occasionally there will be products that cross-promote well, too, like some cereals or whipped cream, stuff like that.”
The Wareham, Mass.-based Cranberry Marketing Committee is busy with several cross-marketing projects, said Toby Stapleton, its marketing director.
“Internationally, for instance, we’ve worked collaboratively,” he said. “In December, we actually did some joint recipe development with a walnut committee, with some recipes in Germany using walnuts and cranberries. There is a lot of opportunity in collaborating with other commodity groups.”
Mark Munger, vice president of marketing for San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, said where berries are showcased can matter as much as how they’re displayed or with what items.
“Because berries are spontaneous, some of the most successful things I’ve seen is merchandising at the cash register,” Munger said.
The best cross-promotional ideas provide consumers with meal solutions, Munger said.
“For instance, trying to incorporate berries into breakfast, by putting them next to the pancake mix or Eggo waffles,” he said. “We’ve done some good programs with items like Cool Whip. They tend to complement items where berries are used.”
The visual presentation of berry displays definitely helps, said Cindy Jewell, marketing director for Watsonville-based California Giant Inc.
“They lend themselves well,” she said. “There are different colors you can play with.”
Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda’s Inc., Los Alamitos, Calif., said her company markets items that market well with berries.
“As far as what we sell that goes along with berries, we’ve had tremendous success,” Caplan said. “A single sell of strawberries can turn into something bigger for retailers, as they sell crepes. We send out electronic communications for client and just sent one out with ideas on how to turn a single berry sale in something bigger.”