The lime category just got more interesting as Fresh Alliance, a California based grower-shipper, is currently rolling out Margaritaville branded limes. The company officially launched the limes at the United Fresh trade show in Chicago in June. Bob Hartmann of Fresh Alliance explained that the company spent 12 months with Margaritaville to discuss the agreement, concept and packaging and were excited to be partnering with such a well known brand.
"Margaritaville is a billion dollar brand with a very loyal following," he said. "There are Margaritaville resorts, restaurants, and they are currently building one of several planned Margaritaville communities in Florida. By partnering with Margaritaville we are able to provide consumers with high quality produce in a trusted brand that has 74 percent brand awareness among US adults. Margaritaville has an extensive presence in food marketing but was not represented in the fresh space. The Margaritaville™ limes gets them into the fresh space and the lime category is a perfect fit with the Margaritaville lifestyle."
Fresh Alliance has worked to secure year-round availability of Margaritaville limes. The main sourcing region is Mexico, but the company is also looking to partner with growers in places like Colombia for when Mexico supply lightens at times during the year. "Currently our limes are sourced year around out of Mexico," Hartmann explained. "We are entertaining other sourcing areas such as Columbia. Columbia’s peak growing season contrasts that of Mexico, helping to fill in production voids in Mexico’s low season."
The limes are available in a 1lb grab-and-go bag and Hartmann added that the fruit is packed to a premium specification. "The Margaritaville™ limes are packed to order ensuring the freshest fruit, every time," he said. "In addition, we pack Margaritaville™ limes to a higher spec than traditional lime presentations. Our goal is to do the customers job for them by packing the highest quality and size consistency in every bag. Within the 1lb pack size, we are able to custom pack sizing based on our customer’s needs."
Display options at the retail level
Along with a year-round supply, Fresh Alliance have also ensured nationwide coverage with their two distribution centers. In store, carrying a brand like Margaritaville opens up a few interesting options for where and how to display the limes. Along with having displays in the produce section, Fresh Alliance suggests placing them in non-produce areas as well, which they say will generate incremental sales.
"We are currently packing and shipping in both Texas and California," Hartmann shared. "From these two locations we can cover our distribution needs throughout the country. In traditional retail formats we are experiencing great success with our display ready boxes in the produce department. In addition, the display ready boxes can be easily stacked to create high impact, stand-alone displays in the beer, liquor, and ethnic aisles."
According to Hartmann, the response from retailers and consumers has so far been excellent. And as a result of the non-produce aisle option, he continued by saying that the Margaritaville limes are receiving interest from other store formats as well. "The response has been awesome from both the trade and consumer level," he noted. "During our launch at United Fresh, we received nothing but positive comments and feedback from everyone who visited the booth. We are currently expanding our line into non-conventional stores as well, most recently with a large liquor store chain. We feel there is a tremendous growth opportunity in C-Stores, where this item would be a perfect impulse complement to beer and liquor sales."
In addition to display ready boxes as well as unorthodox positioning of the limes, Fresh Alliance have also arranged with Margaritaville for other marketing assistance, such as by using social media and email campaigns. Retailers will have the option of working together with Margaritaville in these campaigns and receiving reciprocal benefits.
"Margaritaville provides national marketing support for the Margaritaville™ lime program," Hartmann shared. "On a macro level, the Margaritaville brand is promoted on Facebook, Instagram, Radio Margaritaville on Sirius XM, etc. But we also provide targeted marketing support throughout the year via eBlasts and social media. For example, a new retail account can expect their customers to receive targeted eBlasts from Margaritaville announcing they are carrying Margaritaville™ limes. The new item will also be supported with retailer specific Facebook ads, and direct links from MargaritavilleFoods.com to the retailer’s website."
"We invite the trade to add Margaritaville™ limes to their stores," he concluded. "We promise your lime category will get a little more fun, and a lot more profitable."
For more information:
Fresh Alliance, LLC
Tel: +1 (618) 307-7370