Last time I promised to write about my travels to Hong Kong… but so much has happened since then.
I really do need to thank Jenkins management and board who encourage our sales team to participate in these global experiences. There is clear value in exposing all tiers of the business to worldwide trends and navigating airports and customs queues is a big part of this.
I can definitely relate better to our exporters after seeing how the Chinese shopper receives and perceives our fresh produce in-market. Interestingly, unlike us Kiwi’s, they appear to actually buy the most elaborate and expensive pack - just because they want to be seen doing that. Cherries, in particular, are cherished gifts and a big part of events and celebrations and are adorned in gold and oozing prestige.
Hong Kong is a place that I am pleased I went to in September and not now – I was fortunate to have a great experience and not have any security issues. The learnings in relation to packaging from the trip is that New Zealand is streets ahead in our environmental awareness. The important trend to remember though is that while New Zealand business has a strong message to convey to their customers/market; there is no one size fits all approach. Our kiwi produce is amazing and what we’re doing, to be seen doing the right thing on an environmental front, will, I’m sure eventually pay off.
My most current travel has been from Tauranga to Invercargill and back and involved doing what I enjoy the most - visiting customers, growers, marketers and supermarket contacts. On my trip I have listened to a lot of radio and one phrase that will stick with me is the “Minority agenda”.
In our industry we need to make sure we don’t get swept down this river of enforced change because of the agenda of minority groups - or even a lone keyboard warrior. I have heard a few painful stories from people that have made changes to their product presentation and packaging only to find that the small group making all the noise aren’t the ones that are swiping their cards at the checkouts and paying for the new presentation of product we are being told we need. The upside of this is it feels good to do the right thing! So, once we align on what we need the normal to be, we have all played a part in this change for the good.
Back at the office it’s time to be planning for the next season, so let’s talk soon on how I can help with that.