Jul 08, 2021

Mighty Minimal

One day, one supermarket and 8 different apple varieties, many with IP protection, plus a host of other fruits of course. This apple range included 7 different price points ranging from $3.49 to $6.99 pe kilo and 6 different red apples. So how do consumers know what they are buying without some form of identification, some form of packaging?

Growers and produce marketers want to and need to differentiate their produce alongside all other items available at retail. Consumers need to know how to find New Zealand products in New Zealand and globally. Imagine a world without branded things, unidentified stuff for sale with virtually no way of knowing or at least validating where the goods came from or what quality they might be. Clothes, whiteware, ice cream, beer, wine with no badges – no Trelise Cooper, Fisher & Paykel, Tip Top, All Blacks, Mt Difficulty, Garage Project gone gone gone all gone, just a world of nothingness. Ok, that’s depressing, lets snap out of this thought. Produce sellers need to label and identify their goods just like any other product. Luckily there is a very effective and minimal packaging method to do this on fruit through the label. We know this right, the label provides crucial commercial information like what country the produce comes from, what variety it is, what price it is, and what brand it is. Yes, we do know this, but do we really understand its value on fruit?

Retailers don’t always get their produce in the right bins – spot the 2 countries these oranges are from, found in the same retail bin in Tauranga this week. And interestingly I selected these 2 oranges and was charged the cheaper price, the New Zealand grower missed out on their $2 per kilo premium.

This imported produce can arrive at New Zealand at the same time local growers are trying to sell their goods. Kiwifruit from Italy, oranges, apples, stonefruit from the US, all sorts of citrus from Australia. Consumers need to know what they are buying and where it’s from. I may not wish to purchase apples from USA or any other imported goods for that matter including say pork from China. Accurate, relevant, minimal packaging and labelling helps me make an informed purchasing choice.

New Zealand produces high-quality produce, we need to protect and promote our intellectual property and extract the value it deserves. And we need to make it super easy for local and global consumers to find, purchase and repeat purchase New Zealand produce. Here’s to Mighty Minimal.

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.