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With a history of moving into a new season with zest and verve, 2010 is no exception for Zespri. Projecting beyond the retail trade's traditional tactics of ads and demos, the kiwifruit marketer has chosen to partner with retailers on promotions that engage consumers and direct maximum impact to the point of sale. Zespri also works with wholesalers across the country to reach independent retailers and produce stores, which are important outlets for its kiwifruit.

This year, Zespri is planning roadshow programs and will deploy mobile merchandising teams during the summer season in Milwaukee-Madison, WI, Minneapolis-St Paul, MN, New York, Northern California and Southern California. These programs include a variety of elements, such as kiwifruit- wrapped vehicles, demos and power-hour tastings, complete with trained brand ambassadors.

The roadshows, along with other consumer outreach programs, encourage all to enter The Great Kiwi Adventure sweepstakes at www.thegreatkiwiadventure.com. The lucky winner will receive a trip for four to New Zealand, complete with seven nights accommodation and numerous day trips.

"The sweepstakes is a great way of bringing our New Zealand heritage alive, while highlighting everything that makes Zespri unique," Karen Brux, market manager for Zespri International North America, said in a June 15 press release. "Retailers and wholesalers are excited about potentially having their customers win and are working with us on many different levels to promote the sweepstakes."

Based on strong sales of kiwifruit among ethnic retailers, Zespri will go into select Asian markets with in-store demos. "Ethnic markets continue to be important to Zespri because of the high value their customers place on fresh produce," Ms. Brux added in the press release.

Zespri provides additional support with outreach to Chinese and Korean press and social media posts. In Texas, Zespri will team up with Tjian, a popular Latino fruit and snack seasoning, for in-store demos at a prominent chain catering to Hispanic customers.

For select retailers, a new eye-catching shipper unit will provide more display space for Zespri kiwifruit. Canvassed in bright kiwi-green with an attractive flared top, the shipper delivers SuperFruit nutrition messaging on the side. To publicize the nutritional punch of kiwifruit, Zespri is also working to educate consumers with staff dietitians at a Midwest chain, in conjunction with demos and ads. Another chain will showcase how kiwifruit can be enjoyed as more than an out-of-hand snack and will feature kiwifruit recipe samplings at all stores.