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Despite the au courant topics of “food miles,” “Slow Food” and “locavores” — that go hand in hand with the locally grown movement that’s being largely driven by America’s awakening green culture — the intricacies of our global produce supply chain are truly a thing of beauty. Yet at no time during the calendar year is the magnificence of our global food chain more vividly displayed and appreciated than during the ongoing peak winter selling season, when supplies of nearly any locally grown item are appreciably nonexistent.
For that reason, U.S. retailers are certainly fortunate to be able to rely on an industry that knows very few national or regional boundaries; one that is able to transition from suppliers in one growing region or country in the summer months, and move relatively quickly onward to another supplier in a different part of the world — say, Chile, South Africa or Peru — in the winter, seemingly without a hitch.
To this end, the Sonoma, Calif.-based Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) deserves hearty kudos for its captivating television campaign that’s been airing once again this winter in select U.S. markets. The well-done spots, which entice consumers to enjoy “Summer in the Winter” with fresh Chilean fruits, not only emphasize the counter-season availability, but more important, their quality and freshness. CFFA has helped retailers move Chilean fruit by offering tagged TV commercials in some 30 major U.S. markets and four markets in Canada in conjunction with POS materials like price cards and recipe booklets for consumers, and care-and-handling brochures and merchandising ideas brochures for retailers.
After showcasing beautiful close-ups of vine-ripened fruits being carted carefully to baskets while next panning slowly across lush panoramas of mountaintops and tree fruit orchards, the key messages communicated in the captivating TV spots are highly effective on multiple fronts. In addition to giving consumers an up-close peek inside Chile’s lush Central Valley — renowned for its long-standing stellar reputation for producing quality fruit — it’s also commendable that the spots give winter-weary consumers a “firsthand” chance to see the place and the people that keep much of our nation’s produce aisles stocked with fresh fruit throughout the winter and spring.
Perhaps the best part of all, the Chilean fruit industry’s savvy media message is aptly reinforced in-store with the ultimate clincher: a fabulous array of attractive, great-tasting fruit that handily hits the sweet spot with often reluctant wintertime fruit-deprived consumers.
Parting thought: Since most observers believe strongly that the increasingly popular “locavore” consumer segment is primarily motivated by a basic consumer instinct to connect products with places and faces, traditional produce organizations seeking a way to do just that could easily take a page out of CFFA’s effective playbook.