After more than two years of asking consumers to check Pink Lady apples for trademark assurance, the association supported by its growers is seeing positive signs at retail where, in fact, it’s also hearing from retailers that they too are paying attention.
“It’s very gratifying for our growers to see the program they’ve helped to build being supported by consumers and now retailers who are looking more closely at the price look up stickers on their apples,” John Reeves, general manager of Pink Lady America LLC in Yakima, WA, said in a press release.
The PLU sticker is one of the keys to the Pink Lady trademark program, as it needs to match up with the signage overhead in retail displays. If it says “Pink Lady Brand” and the sign above says the same, it provides consumer assurance.
“It was around two years that we started a campaign to educate consumers on the importance of checking for the Pink Lady PLU,” Reeves said. “The major reason for the fruit being identified as ‘Pink Lady’ brand is because it is packed to quality standards. Anything sold as Pink Lady without our PLU sticker can be packed without our quality standards.”
Consumer confusion on sticker labeling was recently seen on the Pink Lady Facebook page. A consumer in California wrote, “I recently went to a store to purchase Pink Lady apples but noticed they had been replaced with Cripps Pink. Do you know why Pink Lady apples are not being sold here currently? Cripps just doesn’t taste the same.”
The Pink Lady education program has been multi-faceted in nature. It includes a lot of activity in social media and news releases going to media to inform consumers and the produce trade.
“It’s certainly been gratifying to see the consumers’ positive response to our efforts,” Reeves said. “We are also very happy to hear some of the major retail sources are insisting on the use of the Pink Lady trademark in their produce departments. It seems that some of the retailers have ordered ‘Pink Lady’ brand apples but have been receiving apples without the correct PLU.
“So, our word of caution to those retailers and consumers is to be absolutely sure the fruit ordered or under signage as Pink Lady branded fruit really is branded correctly,” Reeves added. “Pink Lady America and the growers want to ensure the quality standards have been applied to the apples being sold and purchased by their customers.”
Pink Lady is a branded apple that has become extremely popular in the marketplace. The color, the taste, and the quality that the brand promises has become something the consumers both look forward to and depend upon.
“The growers have helped to build the Pink Lady program,” Reeves said. “It’s beneficial to the growers to the have the retailer and the consumer look closely at the PLU on their apples to make sure the apples are marked with the apple brand.”