May 10, 2019

Consumer Connection – the missing link

Often underestimated, the humble fruit label carries many functional benefits that are absolutely critical for enabling loose fruit sales to the end consumer.

Firstly, and most importantly, the numbered code on the label or PLU (Price Look-Up) and barcode ensure the retailer prices the produce correctly and efficiently. Without this information, check-out staff have to make and educated guess (at best) as to what variety is being scanned.

Secondly (For all you marketers out there) the brand name, product variety and country of origin on the label provide the consumer with quick confirmation they are purchasing the right produce, giving them confidence that what they are buying is what they are expecting. It enables them to compare apples with apples…

This is all seemingly one way traffic though. The grower and marketer are getting nothing back from this transaction and they really don’t know what is going on in the market place. Did the consumer like the product? What did they like? Was there any problem with the product and, most importantly, who is buying and where are they? In a hypothetical label-less world, marketers and retailers of fresh produce would receive little or no direct consumer feedback and the consumer has no voice.

Businesses benefit from qualitative consumer market intelligence - it helps set company strategy and targets limited resources. The fruit label of today offers some simple tools to capture market information including directing followers to a web site and recording site “hits” and more recently barcodes and QR codes.

Hamish D’Ath of Tollemache Orchards has been using the QR codes for a couple of years now with great success and reports “The information is amazing, we can see on a daily basis how many customers are eating our apples where they are around the world. Messages get left on our website which allows us to respond plus we have picked up new business”.

Sinclair is exploring new technologies all the time and in late July this year, Sinclair’s Director of Research and Development Scott Howarth will be in New Zealand conducting a series of Road Shows around country to share Sinclair’s latest label developments and ways to engage more directly with the consumer.

Dates to be published on the Jenkins Freshpac website mid-May.

This post was written by

Tom McLaughlin

Tom has always had an affinity for New Zealand’s primary industries and a passion for business, and is charged with delivering the Sinclair fruit labelling program at Jenkins.