'Cars 2' promotions fuel sales of ready-to-go fruit

08/05/2011 02:50:00 PM
Amelia Freidline

Disney/Pixar is revved up over the success of “Cars 2,” its James Bond-type action thriller with cars, and several growers are happy to be along for the ride.

“We’re driving our cherry and apple promotion right toward kids and piggybacking on the movie’s energy and success,” said Mac Riggan, vice president of marketing for Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan Wash., one of the produce companies that have become Disney licensees since January.

In July, Chelan began shipping 2-pound poly bags of dark sweet cherries to key retailers containing a quick response code with exclusive hints and cheats for the “Cars 2” online video game.

Chelan also inserted a Cars-related Kwik Lok closure on all varieties of its 3- and 5-pound bags of apples as well as its 4-pound mixed apple medley.

Apple purchasers can use the code on Disney’s World of Cars website to unlock one of four exclusive prizes for free as well as find hidden features in the online game.

“In our business, we always talk about doing the right thing,” Riggan said.

“This is one of those things where you put your money where your mouth is. The investment we made with Disney really helps us drive the nag factor from the candy aisle to the produce aisle.”

Parental take

Feedback from parents has been positive, he said.

“Parents are excited and say, ‘Hey, my kids bought these apples or these cherries because they had Disney on them,’” Riggan said.

“Cars 2” has also driven up sales since May for Crunch Pak LLC, Cashmere, Wash., another Disney licensee.

The movie’s stars appear on its poly bags of sliced sweet red apples and its clamshells of six 2-ounce bags of sliced sweet red apples or five bags with a half-ounce container of caramel dip.

For the first time, Crunch Pak has produced four different labels with the same UPC code. This keeps the shelf interesting, said marketing director Tony Freytag.

“We started with limited distribution and staggered the roll-out to see how it would do,” said Freytag.

“‘Cars’ is doing very well.”



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