Fresh produce branding is expanding and having a huge impact on our industry. Branding influences the way consumers see and buy produce, so it’s important we understand these changes.
Branding allows growers and packers to communicate with consumers about their product, including its value, quality and taste. There are a number of other advantages to fresh produce branding, which will ultimately help to distinguish your produce from competitors and tap into premium returns for supplying high quality products. By understanding how to correctly use branding, we can ensure we aren’t left behind while competitors gain market share.
In this blog we look at the growth of branding, it’s benefits and how you can encourage consumer awareness and loyalty through effective branding.
View the guide “Repackers face the big squeeze” to read about trends facing repackers and distributors in the fresh produce industry.
The rise of branding
Brands are a tool in the retail industry that communicate perceived value and allow products to achieve high returns they wouldn’t otherwise get. However, the development of fresh produce brands is a relatively new phenomenon in world markets. While a reported 80% of all products sold have some form of branding, only 29% of fresh produce is branded.
Fresh produce growers, packers and retailers need to understand the importance of creating strong brands that will make them stand out from competitors and create an advantage when exporting to foreign markets.
The benefits of fresh produce brands
Branding helps create a reputation for a company and builds long-term consumer loyalty. When you have a strong brand, consumers make connections about the product, so utilizing branding in our sector can create a sustainable advantage.
Let’s look at some of the other benefits:
- Branding allows fresh produce to become associated with positive attributes and develop consumer awareness.
- Allows fresh produce to be priced higher as awareness of the brand grows.
- Consumers interpret the value of certain brands, and the difference between other similar products.
- Helps to promote customer loyalty, as consumers relate to certain brand values, and expect the same quality with every purchase.Technology can help ensure the product meets the brand promise every time.
An example of the power of branding is Envy Apple’s recent win in the US Apple Association’s Apple Madness Tournament. The brand was crowned America’s favorite apple after being pitted against 32 other varieties. Votes from passionate Envy fans ensured it took out the title over several apple veteran brands and newcomers.
What can you do?
Focus on developing a strong brand. Think about what you want your produce to be known for, and how you can convey this to the consumer; such as consistent supply, superior quality and exceptional taste. Use this as your point of difference and to build consumer brand loyalty.
Work with growers within co-operatives that create joint marketing and branding ventures. These can make significant increases on returns, by moving products from a commodity to a brand that is valued by the end consumer.
The use of branding can help to position high quality produce as distinctive and valued. It's important to always remember the value of your brand and the amount of work that has gone into building it as it often the most valuable asset a business has. The value of your brand can be wiped away if the brand promise is not meet. For the fresh produce industry, this means delivering consistently high quality produce that is safe for our consumers.