NutriKiwi’s position in the kiwifruit category in Australia is set to be accelerated in 2020 with a new branding and marketing push.

Michael Leach, general manager of NutriKiwi, says the brand is determined to increase recognition and develop the consumer connection between its kiwifruit and its quality, plus the health and immunity-boosting benefits the fruit can provide.

“Our valued wholesale partners love the dominant orange brand colour. The ‘orange box’ has been around since the company’s inception in 2014,” said Leach.

“Now it is time to drive that brand awareness and brand recognition with Australian consumers.”

The revitalised design incorporates the characteristic orange with eye-catching Hayward kiwifruit imagery and a bold Vitamin C claim.

Leach said it brings personality and vibrancy to the brand and these elements will flow to point-of-sale, which stores look out for each season.

“Our aim is to help consumers to identify the NutriKiwi brand in-store quickly and easily – something that our research revealed is very important,” said Leach.

To help cultivate consumer awareness beyond retail stores, NutriKiwi is investing in promotion through a mix of traditional media and influencers. A key theme across all brand communication will be the health benefits of kiwifruit, particularly the immune boosting effect linked to the high levels of Vitamin C found in the green variety NutriKiwi supplies.

“Our messaging will link to immunity, which has a heightened consumer focus due to the current pandemic,” said Leach.

“Consumers are seeking out natural sources of Vitamin C and immune-boosting foods, and NutriKiwi is perfectly positioned to answer that need. Our in-store point-of-sale includes posters and banners which will all have a consistent brand message about Vitamin C.”

NutriKiwi is confident this message will resonate, providing a positive out of the uncertainty of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Leach said clear communication with NutriKiwi's partners in Australia has helped the company adapt to most of the challenges this season has presented.

“It’s also a major bonus having a committed team of merchandisers on the ground in each state,” he added. This team will work with stores to bring the eye-catching in-store theatre to life.

Leach said while a long, dry growing season manifested in some sizing constraints, it resulted in “a very good tasting year, even better than normal”.

The total 2020 New Zealand crop is predicted to finish at 67m trays, 8 per cent below estimates in February and follows a continuing trend of decreasing production of Hayward in New Zealand over the past three seasons. This decrease in crop is being attributed, in part, to the cutting over of canopy from Hayward to the SunGold variety.

“Collectively the companies involved in the NutriKiwi joint venture (EastPack, Trevelyans, DMS Progrowers, and OPAC) grow, manage, and process over 50 per cent of the total New Zealand kiwifruit crop,” said Leach. “This gives NutriKiwi security of supply as the total New Zealand Hayward crop continues to decline.”

Leach said this security also gives NutriKiwi the confidence to commit to growing its presence in the market now, and in the future.

“We believe that the plans we have in place for 2020 will strengthen our brand equity and set the groundwork for building it further in the years ahead.'

This article appeared in the Winter 2020 edition of Produce Plus, which is now available on the new Produce Plus app. Download it today via theApp StoreorGoogle Playandreceivea two-week free trial along with access to previous editions.