The Covid-19 crisis has forced French exporter Primland to alter its promotional strategy ahead of the new Nergi kiwiberry season in Europe, relying heavily on social media to promote the fruit’s health benefits.
This campaign, Primland forecasts around 4m punnets of kiwiberries, with the first containers currently setting off for overseas markets, including Portuguese-grown kiwiberries destined for Canada.
“Germany is still the leading market,” said marketing and communications manager Olivier Pouilhes. “Scandinavia should consolidate last year’s good results. Consumption of berries in France has yet to reach the levels in countries where Nergi is exported, but Primland is nevertheless optimistic: the market will likely continue to develop.”
This positive domestic outlook is supported by a BVA study from last year, which shows a continuous increase in awareness of Nergi among under-35s, rising by 7 per cent since 2018.
According to Pouilhes, the lockdown period has made the use of social media even more crucial. “Our strategy is to focus on social media in each target country and the management of Nergi’s website,” he said, “with a view to providing consumers with regular information.”
This includes communication about Nergi kiwiberries as an excellent source of vitamins and fibre at a time when most consumers are seeking to boost their immune systems.
“Nergi’s health and nutritional benefits are more important than ever for consumers in all countries,” said Pouilhes. “Nergi has therefore developed its packaging to convey these values.”
Since the sort of in-store event widely used for Nergi in 2019 is not always compatible with new hygiene measures introduced in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, Primland has set about developing customised promotional operations for each partner brand, including competitions with prizes, partnerships with health influencers and the use of expert advisers. “These can then be used to complement social media initiatives,” said Pouilhes.