( SweeTango )

Recent in-store demos show strongly positive consumer feedback on the SweeTango apple’s taste, quality, value and convenience, marketers report.

The grower-owned Next Big Thing cooperate has focused on both direct-to-consumer communications and in-store visibility, executive director Jennifer Parkhill said in a news release.

The consumer campaign includes advertising to reach SweeTango’s target foodie demographic in varied media formats, according to the release, including podcasts, YouTube and social media platforms.

In addition, the cooperative’s regional sales desks in the U.S. are working with their retail customers on in-store demos and other promotions.

In a recent survey, the release said 98% percent of shoppers who tried SweeTango apples during recent in-store demos reported that they “loved the flavor.” 

What’s more, 93% of shoppers gave the apple high marks for being a “healthy choice.” More than 80% rated SweeTango “a great value” and shoppers also gave high marks for being “quick and convenient,” according to the release.

Regional pull

 “Customer reaction to our sampling events underscores the importance of demos at store level to set the pace for the season,” John Cushing, senior vice president of sales and marketing for New York Apple Sales, said in the release. New York Apple Sales supports SweeTango Eastern region sales lead Fowler Farms, according to the release. “Consumers overwhelmingly love SweeTango’s flavor, which results in a high number of first-time buyers – and once we get a SweeTango in their hands, they become hooked,” Cushing said in the release.

The 2019-20 season will be the first that marketers will be able to sell the variety into the new year, according to the release.

“This is the first season that there will be SweeTango volume into the New Year, which extends the opportunity for retailers to tap into SweeTango’s established popularity,” Scott Swindeman, owner of Midwest region SweeTango sales lead Applewood Fresh Growers.

“We’ve got a quality crop this year, this is the nicest colored and conditioned crop we’ve had in the Midwest since the SweeTango program began,” he said. Swindeman said Applewood Fresh was moving big volumes of SweeTango apples in tote and pouch bags.
West region sales lead Stemilt Growers has found that retailers are receptive to displaying the apple, Roger Pepperl, director of marketing for Stemilt, said in the release.

“We have great consumer brand recognition now, and retailers all know the apple. It’s been an easy conversation to get them back on the shelves this year,” said Pepperl. “We stand out among the new varieties. They’re telling us it’s the best apple out there.”

The SweeTango is becoming a “tried and true leader” among the many managed varieties available on store shelves, Parkhill said in the release.

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