Irish multinational fruit importer Fyffes is to begin marketing avocados, cassava and alternative banana varieties as part of a newly created exotics range, it has revealed.
Marking a new chapter in the history of the world's oldest fruit brand and a major departure into new product areas for a label hitherto synonymous with bananas, Fyffes said it would be inviting retailers to "take a fresh look at premium ranging opportunities" as it prepared to launch the range at Fruit Attraction in Madrid.
"From banana to avocado," it said in a statement, "Fyffes is keen to work with retail partners to change the perspective on the commoditised tropical fresh produce sector, by bringing a new energy to the category and adding clear value."
The move is said to be part of the group's Discover More campaign, which aims to develop sustainable sourcing programmes based on recent consumer insight.
With the majority of bananas sold around the world treated as a low-value commodity among buyers and shoppers, the company said it saw an opportunity to respond more effectively to the needs of modern consumers and, by doing so, add greater value to the category.
In particular, the range is designed to satisfy what Fyffes sees as growing consumer demand for branded products in the exotics category.
A recent survey conducted by the group apparently found that, while 58 per cent of those questioned ate bananas every day or several times each week.
The research also suggested that consumers actually cared a great deal about the fruit they plan to purchase, that the brand increasingly influenced purchasing decisions, and that ethical and sustainable practices were a very important sales trigger.
"Discover More is our invitation to retailers and consumers to change their perspective when buying fruit," said Joris Schonk, Fyffes' commercial director for Europe. “With our new Exotic range we address consumer interest in deliciously different exotic fruit and vegetables and drive innovation in this category.”
The group's business development manager Oscar Dominguez added: “The new Fyffes range of exotic fruit and vegetables is specially selected and ethically sourced from favourite farms around the world. Through our long-term commitment to support our growers we provided the structures and took the effort to support our partners archiving the quality standards and certificates to make this exceptional quality range ready for the market and consumer needs.”
The range will initially consist of different banana varieties – for example baby and red bananas – as well as plantains, avocados and cassava.
At Fruit Attraction, Fyffes will underscore its ability to work with retail partners and boost consumer engagement.
“Through our Discover More initiative, we can leverage the company’s long-term grower relationships and commitment to community to tap into the emotional connection consumers have to exotic fruit and vegetables and personalise their path to purchase," concluded Schonk.