Panoramic food background with assortment of fresh organic fruits and vegetables in rainbow colors

Fresh ideas: how to PR a product that never changes

The media world is one which thrives on what the industry has coined “newness”: the latest release, new product development or trailblazing innovation.  

However, in the world of fresh produce, the task at hand is often to come up with creative approaches to promote a single product which never changes. It’s a challenge almost unimaginable to other FMCG brands: one single SKU to promote, limited opportunities for NPD (unless you have a couple of decades to put in the work of commercialising a new variety) and being reliant upon the harvest to be able to stock shelves. No opportunity for a special Christmas flavour, a “new and improved” recipe or repackaging a winning product into a new format. 

Our experience of working with Pink Lady® for almost a decade, the apple brand leading the way when it comes to innovative comms in fresh produce (the marketing of Pink Lady® has been held up as the “benchmark for branded agriculture and food” by the Chartered Institute of Marketing) has necessitated a truly creative approach to our discipline. 

So, how can fresh produce brands build dynamic campaigns for an ‘evergreen’ product? 

Be laser-focused on your audience 

With a single product in your arsenal, you can’t be all things to all people. This means that having a hyper-defined audience becomes even more important when it comes to driving penetration and frequency. Making use of industry data, shopper insights and focus groups will enable you to identify which demographic will be most receptive to your brand, helping you pick off the low-hanging fruit. 

Leverage brand partnerships 

A tried-and-tested tactic which enables fresh produce brands to generate news is to partner with like-minded brands to create spin-off products. The drinks category is an obvious bedfellow for fruit and vegetable brands; with the UK soft drinks market in growth and valued at over £10bn per year, brand partnerships in this category can prove fruitful for both parties and offer a tactic which gives you something new to talk about. 

Tap into your audience’s passions 

With a single or limited number of products in your repertoire, it’s vital to adopt broad talking points which interest your audience to build true brand advocacy. Don’t fall into the trap of making all of your comms about your product, as this will limit the scope of any campaign. In the fresh produce sphere, the challenge is about building love for your brand just as much as your product. This is why it’s best to think big – and explore topics that might be decidedly outside of the sphere of food. For example, for Pink Lady® we created a campaign centred on wild swimming, in line with the brand’s mission to spark joy with every interaction it had with consumers. 

Invest in content to tell your story 

Social media presents limitless opportunities when it comes to meeting your business objectives, whether that’s building brand awareness, keeping fans engaged or reaching new consumers who may never have tried your product. The way to unlock the potential of social is to invest in engaging content to tell your story. As experts in delivering content strategy, we are advocates for the power of video: invest strategically and you will be armed with rich content that can bring your product to life, have longevity, capture the attention of your fans and enrich your brand story. 

Nurture your fanbase 

In fresh produce, there is the ever-present threat of customers trading away to another variety – particularly amidst a cost-of-living crisis, when a quarter of shoppers say rising grocery costs have led them to buy lower-quality products. This casts new light on the importance of brand-building: establish a reciprocal connection with shoppers and you’ll arm them with a reason to keep buying your product. Invest in your rapport with these loyal brand advocates with things like members-only exclusive content, giveaways and on-pack promotions to protect your market share. 

If you would like to discuss how PHA and MCG could help your fresh produce brand stand out in 2024, get in touch with us to discuss your brief. 

Get in touch with the team