Marketers can say it’s hot, but maybe it’s not - The Packer

Marketers can say it’s hot, but maybe it’s not

11/22/2013 10:13:00 AM
Dan Galbraith

I mean, to listen to fresh produce marketers as much as I do, I was certain terms like social media/Facebook, children, schools, foodservice, restaurants, avocados, sustainable, environmentally friendly, locally grown, boxes, chop/chopped, extended shelf life would pop up all over the place.

To my amazement, none of those terms tallied more than seven keyword hits from these new products offered by 89 fresh produce companies!


Total disconnect?

New produce packaging isn’t exactly going out of its way to connect with consumers through social media or quick-response codes. Although the industry seems abuzz about “connecting” and getting end-users to “know their farmers,” no marketers at PMA talked up social media on their new packaging, and QR codes were a major part of the story on only a couple of packs.

Talk of sustainability/environmental friendliness of packs is also nearly nonexistent, although everbody seems to claim that’s important to success of fresh produce businesses these days.

And, with all the buzz of tie-ins with the kids’ movie “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2” and added Disney characters for fresh produce packs this year, I thought marketing to children would be huge.

But it isn’t. Or at least not yet, as the terms “kids,” “children,” and “schools” tallied only seven keyword hits — combined. Hopefully Disney’s new Marvel and potential Lucasfilm character offerings will change this in 2014. Sesame Street characters also should expand the industry’s reach to children next year.

I also expected the terms “healthy,” “nutrition,” “restaurants” and “foodservice” to be prevalent among new product packs, but they only garnered a couple of hits each.

Fresh produce marketers can talk all they want about the companies’ commitments to things like marketing to children, sustainability and importance of increased nutritional value of their products over alternatives.

And they can claim kale is the new bacon all they want. But, at the risk of making another bad food reference to ... well, bad food, the proof is in the pudding.

Or at least it should be.

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