Leading New Zealand apple exporter Mr Apple has drawn a “strong” 2019 shipping campaign to a close.
“It (2019) was a great season for Mr Apple,” explained Mr Apple sales manager Ben McLeod. “We had excellent support from our retail partners and sales were up across the board.”
McLeod said the company was particularly active in China, with record volumes of fruit shipped to the People’s Republic.
“We estimate Mr Apple shipped almost half of all New Zealand apples sent to China this season,” he explained.
Mr Apple complimented its Chinese sales programmes with a high level of marketing support for its retail customers. McLeod said the company was constantly looking for new ways to help its partners lift their apple sales.
“Whether it is a new product exclusive, unique packaging or on-going marketing support for a customer’s seasonal programme, our focus is to be the best apple category sales partner we can be,” he added.
To this end, Mr Apple was very active in China over the 2019 season, according to Lisa Cork, Mr Apple’s special projects manager.
“In line with our retail customer support strategy, Mr Apple focussed on two core marketing activities in 2019 – in-store activations and brand building via external activations,” Cork said.
Mr Apple used in-store demonstrations and ‘mini-shows’ to drive retail sales and raise customer awareness about its brand (see video below). In addition, Mr Apple launched its new ‘Mr Apple’ mascot, which further reinforced its brand messaging.
“Our ‘Mr Apple’ mascot is one of Mr Apple’s USP’s (unique selling proposition),” explained Cork. “There are very few fresh produce brands which also have the potential to be memorable brand personalities. With China’s love of mascots and with mascots bridging language barriers, it made sense for us to create and use a Mr Apple character in China.”
Mr Apple was also active in using external activations to create brand awareness. This work included brand activations in high visibility spaces like CR Vanguard’s former head office in Shenzhen and Shanghai’s Citi building.
Meanwhile, activations with Lefit Gyms showcased Mr Apple to a whole new niche of consumers.
“With apples being a healthy fruit and an important part of the Chinese diet, we wanted to bring the Mr Apple message to those most focussed on their health and wellness,” said Cork.
Read more about Mr Apple's 2019 campaign in the upcoming October edition of Asiafruit Magazine.