U.S.: Washington apples hit for six in India

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U.S.: Washington apples hit for six in India

The U.S. Washington State Apple Commission hopes to bowl the competition over with a different kind of spin to in-store promotion, providing the official fruit of two Indian cricket teams, the Delhi Daredevils and the Royal Challengers of Bangalore.600px-RedDelicious

Rebecca Lyons from the commission's marketing team spoke with www.freshfruitportal.com from India on the growth of the category in the Asian nation and the value of a cultural approach to trade.

"This is the first time that Washington Apples has been involved in sponsoring a sports team. It's not something we'd typically be doing but cricket is really a sport that binds India together," she said.

"India is an interesting country because you've got so many different language, so many different cultures.

"There are so many regional differences but cricket is something that unites Indians. Everybody loves cricket. For us, we wanted to tie into that love of cricket and associate ourselves with that sport by being the official fruit of the Delhi Daredevils and the Royal Challengers of Bangalore."

Washington Apples sponsored another Indian cricket team last year and, according to Lyons, the campaign brought in a notable uptick in product interest. Marketing efforts have included fruit sampling at games, commercial spots on the big projector and meet and greets with players.

Creative efforts and product quality have turned in big results in India, she said. Ten years ago, Washington Apples came onto the Indian market with 4,000 cartons. The commission has now reached 4 million.

"Washington Apples enjoy a very strong brand recognition in the Indian market and certainly some of that can be attributed to the activities that we have done to create this awareness of the brand and the fact that it's a high quality apple," she said.

"Visually it's very appealing and obviously, if we didn't have the high quality apple to back up the marketing, it would be a different story."

As a market, India, by sheer population, offers major appeal for sellers, Lyons explained.

"For us, India is an exciting new market. They love apples, they are apple eaters. You look at the size of the market, over a billion people. Of course, not all of those billion people can afford imported apples but we're still looking at a middle class market of between 200 and 300 million people, which is about the size of the U.S," she said.

For the most part, India is a Red Delicious market. The variety account for 95% of Washington imports.

Photo: Brian Arthur via Wikimedia Commons



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