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Tom Joyce



World Cup lures marketers

Fresh produce marketers are keen to link their products to the excitement and drama of the upcoming World Cup, not least in Belgium and France

World Cup lures marketers

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As the football World Cup approaches, companies worldwide typically seek ways to link their products to the spectacle or to the fortunes of specific national teams. This year, marketers have been keen to stress the additional challenges they face, Russia’s current international standing presenting a tougher proposition than the sun, sea and sand of Brazil. And yet, the increased exposure and attention generated simply by the use of football-themed packaging during this period is beyond doubt.

Belgian cooperative BelOrta is launching two products to tie in with this year’s tournament. The first is a pack of snacking tomatoes designed in the style of the Belgian national team shirt, a product that was first aired with great success during the 2016 European Football Championships.  

“It was very successful,” recalls Sofie Lambrecht. “We offered the product through just one Belgian retailer and saw our sales double in the five weeks of the promotion. If you link a healthy product to football, people will buy it.”

This year, the product will be on the shelves of every retailer in the country. “The size of the promotion is much bigger this time,” she says. “The product will be in shops for five weeks from 4 June.”

In addition, BelOrta is launching a reusable microwaveable bowl for snack vegetables. “The bowl itself is green like the grass and covered in footballs,” reveals Lambrecht. “The bowl does not feature any specific references to the World Cup, allowing it to be used for football-related promotions in the future.”

The company will be communicating about the products’ availability through social media. “We will also have a game on our website, with the chance of winning one of 100 Adidas footballs,” says Lambrecht. “You get three chances to win online, but every time you buy one of our football-themed products, you get another three tries.”

Elsewhere in Belgium, cooperative Hoogstraten is launching a specially designed bucket for snacking tomatoes, to be sold through Belgian retailer Colruyt. Through Carrefour in Belgium, consumers of some of Hoogstraten’s specialty tomatoes can collect Panini stickers of the Belgian football team.

In Germany, Hoogstraten is launching a pack for snacking tomatoes in the shape of a football through retailer Rewe. All these actions will be promoted on the company’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile in France, apple exporter Blue Whale has used the opportunity of the approaching World Cup to launch football-themed promotions in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as in Rungis wholesale market in Paris.

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