Every day most of us experience being offered an ‘alien’ or unknown product someone would like us to buy. This dilemma of ill-informed shopping is one that can affect many purchases, not to mention around 30% of fruit and vegetables.
Why? Because the benefits of enticing consumers to be interested in a fresh produce line, and then the challenges of educating them on how that item can be easily made an enjoyable part of their life, are often overlooked.
However, we all respect and appreciate when savvy fresh produce growers and marketers create an engaging experience for their consumers. Here’s 5 key steps they follow:
· Provide fundamental product information – name and description!
· Clearly describe what to expect from the product.
· Build the ‘taste experience’ through imagery and words.
· Give simple advice on how to engage with and make the most of the product.
· And, show how other ‘everyday people’ use it.
Mike’s ‘unknown’ fruit dilemma
I had my own fresh produce dilemma recently; a perfect case study of why these key marketing values are essential.
The dilemma started one Saturday when I went out to help my wife, Mindy, unload and put away the shopping. Next minute Mindy excitedly says, “Mike, I have bought something special for you!”
My eyes and ears are wide open; Mindy hands over a green-hard-round fruit and tests, “Do you know what it is?” The need to answer correctly had me a tad flustered given I have spent my whole career in and around fresh produce and should know the answer. Thankfully, I did!
Just like many thousands of others that day, Mindy walked the aisles of our local supermarket and on this particular day, noticed a small display of a ‘different’ fruit. Given she is married to a ‘produce freak’, curiosity won her over.
To sort out the next part of the puzzle, Mindy reached for her Smartphone, not to “Google it” …as marketers try to make us believe all shoppers would, but to photograph the shelf ticket. Her fear was the checkout operator would not know this mystery product and not be able to process her purchase. And she was right. But, conveniently, she had scanned the limited information on the fruit’s ticket including the fruit name and price.
So, Mindy’s foresight meant she was able to buy the ‘exotic fruit’. But, she had to take the initiative and make the purchase possible, and add to this the fact that she and knew nothing about what she was buying. Mindy went to this effort for me. If she wasn’t married to a produce freak, would she have bothered?
Just for the record, the mysterious fruit was black sapote! An amazing chocolate-flavoured tropical fruit with a mousse-like texture …and it’s healthy!
This hit-and-miss approach to selling is unfriendly and is not designed with the shopper in mind. If a shopper isn’t informed, he or she won’t be confident to buy the product in the first place. Lack of information also enables buyer regret. The aim is to be friendly and respectful while enticing and informing.
No one likes to spend their hard-earned money on ‘lucky dips’. Nourishing and feeding yours’ and your families’ bodies is serious business. Customers need to be informed and enticed. And, staff must know about the new or different items in-store.
My mantra when it comes to produce: Take the mystery out of the unfamiliar. Make fresh a friendly and enjoyable experience!
It’s our job to truly ‘market’ fresh produce not just expect shoppers to take it off the shelves.