The European Fruits campaign, dubbed EU Fruit, is concluding its first year of activities in the markets of Greece, Germany and Poland, including in-store tastings that gave more than 20,000 consumers the opportunity to sample the campaign’s fruit salad made of 100 per cent European fruits.
“Through this activity we have collected so far over 5,000 questionnaires from Greek, German and Polish consumers, with interesting data on their shopping behaviour and fruit consumption,” said Anta Tsaira, the campaign’s project manager. “The consumer sample will expand to other cities and regions of the three countries throughout the campaign duration, giving us the opportunity to have a better understanding of what the consumer prioritises when selecting fresh fruits.”
According to Tsaira, the campaign aims to discover how aware consumers are about the quality and safety of EU fruits, as well as the importance consumers place on origin, price and production ethics when selecting which fruit to buy.
At Fruit Logistica next February, visitors will be given the chance to meet a delegation of more than 15 Greek and Cypriot producers and discuss their products. Furthermore, educational activities in schools will be launched in the spring of 2020, with the campaign’s ambassadors and influencers spreading the message in each country that European fruits are safe and have an excellent taste and a high level of traceability.
When discussing promotional activities for European or third countries, Tsaira said, it is always important to take into consideration the particularities of each market.
“It is very important to build up knowledge on each market before launching a promotional campaign, but it is also important to jump on the bandwagon early,” she said. “So it is recommended that some ‘testing’ activities are implemented on a trial period, in order to get familiar with the market first-hand and to scale up bigger interventions. A trade show, a farm visit or a small-scale event is a good idea for a first approach in a new market, allowing a better understanding of its particular needs and limitations.”
The EU Fruit campaign includes a mix of different promotional strategies, allowing the campaign to address different target groups in the same period of time. According to Tsaira, some activities are targeted at consumers directly, some at journalists and some at trade.
“Our goal is to educate consumers on the quality of European fruits, and this requires a multifold approach that includes direct tastings, communication messages conveyed through social media and press, and educational activities,” said Tsaira. “In our view, the most effective way of attracting new consumers to European fresh produce is to understand what their main concern is and adjust your messages accordingly. Is it a lack of awareness, a lack of interest or the price? In our experience, a lot of consumes are simply unaware of the importance and popularity of European fresh produce on the global fruit market, or even completely unaware that certain countries are major international players in the production of specific fruits. For example, not many consumers in Greece know that Greece is the third largest producer of kiwifruit worldwide.”
The beneficiaries of the campaign are six agricultural cooperatives from Greece and Cyprus: Agricultural Cooperative Nespar, Agricultural Cooperative of Sagittarius Nestos, Agricultural Cooperative of Velvento “Dimitra”, Agricultural Cooperative of Flamouria, Agricultural Cooperative of Pangaio-Simvolo and Cyprofresh Cyprus Sedigep.