Zespri said its consumer campaign, “A Real Snack, for Real Life” and consumer sweepstake livened up their brand and encouraged consumers to go to their local retail store looking for SunGold Kiwifruit. The company said is it working to match growth in demand by extending their season with production in new regions. This winter, Zespri North America will supply consumers with Italian-grown conventional and organic SunGold and green kiwifruit. The New Zealand Kiwifruit season begins in May and runs through November with Italian fruit available from December through February.
“Our consumer campaign and promotion were very successful,” explains Sarah Deaton, Zespri’s marketing manager for North America. “We are beyond excited about the results with over 800,000 entries including over 100,000 unique contest entries! The “A Real Snack, for Real Life” SunGold campaign, targeting busy moms, generated significant media exposure reaching 164 million impressions.”
According to Zespri, since the launch of SunGold, consumer demand has grown. “It’s exciting to watch the growth of the brand,” states Deaton. “Zespri’s brand awareness has increased by 117 percent in our top markets, and over 41 percent nationwide compared to last year.”*
To build on the media campaign, Zespri helped move over 87,000 units of SunGold for retailers using Ibotta. Ibotta gives consumers cash back rewards when purchasing Zespri kiwifruit. “This is just another way we support retailers by driving consumers to their stores and increasing sales,” suggests Deaton. “We also support retailers by developing customized programs & promotions through our market development managers. We assist retailers with regional display contests, custom POSM, and digital programs to help promote and encourage the trial of SunGold and other Zespri Kiwifruit varieties. We continue to hear from consumers that they love Zespri SunGold but are still having trouble finding it. We see tremendous growth with our strategic retail partners when they are building large displays to help consumers find Zespri easily.”
The company is excited to extend the season starting in early December as the New Zealand season concludes and will continue through February from its Italian growing partners. Zespri is expecting to import the largest volume of Zespri Italian SunGold and Organic SunGold Kiwifruit to date, up 70 percent over last year although the overall volume remains in short supply with the production base still developing.
Italian growers work with the company's Italy supply team and third party auditors to ensure they are growing and harvesting to the Zespri standards. The best Italian orchards and very best fruit are selected for export, according to the company. Growing fruit from Italy meets Zespri’s growth strategy to grow the kiwifruit category in North America by working towards achieving year-round supply. Although SunGold leads the growth strategy, Zespri’s goal is to supply a full range of fresh kiwi products including SunGold, Green, Organic Green and Organic SunGold.