UK: Brand building strategy pays dividends for Picota cherries

An increasing focus on the unique qualities of Picota cherries helped strengthen sales of the fruit once again, according to the organisation that represents Spanish producers of the fruit.

The Cereza de Jerte Denomination of Origin Regulatory Council says approximately 2,500 tons of Picota cherries were sold in the UK during the short season in June and July this year.

Pilar Díaz Flores, Technical Director of the Cereza de Jerte (Jerte Cherry) Denomination of Origin Regulatory Council said: “In the last decade, demand for Picota cherries has grown significantly in the UK market, thanks to the combination of the campaign we run together with Foods from Spain, and great support from the main supermarkets selling our fruit.”

“This year, promotional activity has focused on the quality and provenance of the Picota cherry, encouraging shoppers to actively seek them out during the limited time for which they are on shelves. The aim is to get consumers to understand the difference between Picota and other cherries - their point of difference being the quality, long shelf life and no stalks. The UK remains our main market, and sales of Picota have grown beyond last year’s record levels here, rising by approximately 6.5 per cent.”

Foods from Spain promotes the fruit annually to shoppers as part of its integrated promotion on fresh produce.

After a decade of promoting in the UK, this year’s campaign saw the Picota brand become a more prominent feature of the in-store and media activities. With a new design and ‘Catch them while you can!’ strapline, the campaign emphasised the premium quality, taste and short season of Picota cherries.

This year’s in-store activity included tasting sessions in supermarkets, online advertising and information about Picota at the point-of-sale. A Picota film was also produced featuring Cesar Garcia from Iberica restaurant in London, illustrating the Picota story, which was featured on the product website and used as part of the social media strategy. Gift boxes of Picota cherries were sent to journalists and food bloggers and a Picota branded black taxi could be seen in and around London during the season.

Pilar added: “The change in focus for this year’s Picota cherry campaign has been a success. An increasing number of consumers understand the differences between Picota and other cherries, and many now recognise the Picota brand. We’re planning to build on the success of the 2012 season and take the Picota brand to the next level in 2013”.

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