Rebrand of Ambrosia apple for US market

“We expect to increase Ambrosia volumes with about 150 percent in the next seven to nine years,” says Chris Pollock with BC Tree Fruits Cooperative. This year, the cooperative harvests about 600,00 cartons (40 lb. boxes) and it is looking to increase this number to 1.2 or 1.3 million over time. “With that in mind, we want to ensure the variety continues to be successful, not only for sales at retail, but also for returns back to our growers,” Pollock said. “We want the variety to continue to be one of those premium varieties we are seeing right now and elected to go through the process of re branding it and giving the brand a personality for American consumers.”

Focus groups with foodies
This spring, BC Tree Fruits started the re-branding process with focus groups with foodies in Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver. “We asked them to look at everything; from the texture to appearance to taste without telling them what they were eating or looking at. We also did blind taste tests with Ambrosia and another variety.” In each market, there were two focus groups that ranged in demographics. “It was really neat to see and watch,” shared Pollock. The foodies came up with descriptive words for Ambrosia. “We challenged them not to use words like crisp, juicy and sweet and received a lot of good input.”

Home to the original variety
“The focus groups resulted in what we have now. We really feel that we’ve developed something that speaks to the variety: clean and feminine. According to feedback, the name, the look of the variety and the taste are feminine, and we wanted the re-brand to speak to that,” Pollock mentioned. In the logo, the ‘o’ was replaced by a bi-colored apple, which speaks to the bi-colored attribute of Ambrosia. Across the world, Ambrosia can be different in how the blush and bi-color appear on the apple, but Pollock feels Canada has the advantage of being home to the original variety. “The color attributes that come from our Ambrosia apples really speak to the authenticity of the variety.” 

Rebrand exclusively for US market
The Ambrosia variety has been grown by BC Tree Fruits for about 15-20 years. “Both the Ambrosia brand and our BC Tree Fruits brand are very well known in Canada with the latter having a 93 percent aided brand awareness. In the US, our brand doesn’t necessarily have that recognition and therefore, we have re-branded Ambrosia exclusively for the US market.” BC Tree Fruits has partnered with Oppy and relies on their expertise and their relationship in the US to move the product. “The re-brand will give Oppy a tool to move this apple variety in the US,” Pollock said.

Ambrosia apples for the US market are available in newly designed 2 lbs. and 3 lbs. pouch bags as well as 40 lbs. and euro boxes. Shipping of the new crop started last week. Pollock met with a number of different retail partners over the past month and was happy about the positive feedback the new brand received. “It’s clean and different and I am very excited to see how it is going to grow,” he finished.

For more information:
Chris Pollock
BC Tree Fruits 
Tel: 250-470-4213

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