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Indianapolis Fruit applies latest marketing techniques

Indianapolis Fruit Co. Inc. is using the latest technology to help retailers promote its “Garden Cut” brand of processed products.

This summer, the Indianapolis-based firm will be launching a smart phone and iPad application using QR codes to help consumers scan “Garden Cut” packages for additional product information.

Indianapolis Fruit and “Garden Cut” both have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that are used to promote “Garden Cut” according to Shane Towne, who heads marketing and business development for Indianapolis Fruit.

Furthermore, the firm recently launched a consumer-oriented web site to help its customers sell “Garden Cut” convenience-oriented packaged fresh fruits and vegetables. “Garden Cut” processed products come from the produce company’s massive facility full of diverse offerings.

Mr. Towne described the new web site as “state-of-the-art for the industry. It is very interactive and very consumer-friendly.”

Important to retailers is the web site’s store locator, which shows where “Garden Cut” products can be purchased.

The web site will be changed four times a year with the change of the seasons. The summertime 2011 “Garden Cut” web site was slated to go live June 21, the first day of summer. The iteration will involve product uses that are oriented to summertime. These rotating versions, he said, will have new recipes for cookouts and other hot-weather meals.

“All of our products suggest healthy eating, with recipes to match” the retail packs the firm sells to retailers. For example, a convenience item featured this spring on was cucumber sticks with chili and lime. Accompanied by a product photograph, the web site text promotes the item by saying, “A deliciously bizarre pairing that goes together like peanut butter and jelly is vegetables and fruit with chili seasoning and fresh-squeezed lime juice. A Hispanic favorite, cucumber with chili and lime is a delicious snack that has a bite to it. The 12-ounce package is filled with fresh cucumber spear slices and a packet of ‘Tajin’ chili fruit seasoning with half of a fresh lime that is ready to squeeze.”

On the web site are nutrition facts with symbols indicating six specific product health benefits — lung health, heart health, dental health, vision improvement, memory function and high antioxidant levels.

Mr. Towne said that Indianapolis Fruit has been working on these projects for several years, and now “I am very proud … that we have finally closed the loop with our customers, retailers and the end consumers.” He said that Indianapolis Fruit’s marketing efforts were already reaching retailers, but reaching consumers through phone apps and the other new resources “is a nice full-circle approach to our overall marketing campaign.”

He said that Facebook and Twitter “are a fantastic way to continually have open discussions with our customer base and consumers.” Feedback from these resources has already led to product improvements.

“We have been partnering with retailers for 64-plus years, and we continue to find success and partnerships in our distribution networks. We look forward to continuing to grow even in the face of a tough economy.”


Showcase and golf outing scheduled for July

Indianapolis Fruit’s 24th annual golf outing and vendor showcase will be held July 25-26, according to Mr. Towne.

The vendor-product showcase and reception will be July 25 in Indianapolis’ Grand Hall & Conference Center at the Union Station Crown Plaza. The golf outing will take place at the Eagle Creek Golf Course on July 26.

Mr. Towne said that the event involves more than 100 suppliers and growers, who use the showcase to demonstrate their products to more than 300 retailers, restaurant buyers and educational organizations that are involved in the event.

“We are very excited about our annual event and the next day’s golf outing,” Mr. Towne said. The golf outing is limited to 300 participants on a first-come-first-served basis.