Mr Apple has finished a strong 2019 apple shipping season. Sales Manager Ben McLeod advised, “2019 was a great season for Mr Apple. We had excellent support from our retail partners and sales were up across the board.”
Mr Apple was very active in China, with record volumes of the fruit going to this important market. “We estimate Mr Apple shipped almost half of all New Zealand apples sent to China this season.”
Mr Apple’s marketing focus in China was all about helping their retail customers sell more Mr Apple apples. “As one of New Zealand’s largest exporters, we are focused on customer support and working with our retail partners to lift their category sales,” says McLeod. “Whether it is a new product exclusive, unique packaging or on-going marketing support for a customer’s seasonal program, our focus is to be the best apple category sales partner we can be.”
To this end, Mr Apple was very ‘active’ in China during their 2019 season. Lisa Cork, Mr Apple Special Projects Manager notes, “In line with our retail customer support strategy, Mr Apple focused on two core marketing activities in 2019 – in-store activations and brand building via external activations.”
Mr Apple used in-store demos and in-store mini-shows to drive retail sales and raise customer awareness about the Mr Apple brand. In addition, Mr Apple launched their new ‘Mr Apple’ mascot which further reinforced their brand messaging.
“ ‘Mr Apple’ is one of Mr Apple’s USP’s, “ notes Cork. “There are very few fresh produce brands which also have the potential to be memorable brand personalities. With China’s love of mascots and with mascots bridging language barriers, it made sense for us to create and use a Mr Apple character in China.”
Mr Apple was also active in using external activations to create brand awareness. Brand activations in high visibility spaces like CR Vanguard’s former Head Office in Shenzhen, Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park and Shanghai’s Citi building introduced consumers to Mr Apple’s mascot and products.
Activations with Lefit Gyms showcased Mr Apple to a whole new niche of consumers. “With apples being a healthy fruit and an important part of the Chinese diet, we wanted to bring the Mr Apple message to those most focused on their health and wellness,” says Cork.
“For Mr Apple, success is really simple,” notes McLeod. “We want to be the best apple category partner we can be and support our customers both in China and globally to increase their sales. When you focus on doing what is right for both the apple and your customer, everything else falls into place.”