Ecuador: interactive campaign promotes bananas in Russia

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Ecuador: interactive campaign promotes bananas in Russia

With the goal of increasing Ecuadorian banana sales in Russia, ProEcuador has launched a campaign to promote the fruit and its nutritional value among consumers.

Galapagosha, the campaign's educational cartoon character

Galapagosha, the campaign's educational cartoon character

The initiative will run throughout summer and part of autumn in Moscow with a series of activities, including interactive supermarket stands.

"Through ProEcuador management in the Russian commercial office and the Ecuadorian banana sector, a pioneering promotional campaign is being developed in Russia," Carlos Lema, head of the institute's Russian office, told

"This is the first time the Ecuadorian government has invested in an activity of this type with the end goal to promote Ecuadorian banana consumption in the summer months. Normally in Russia you can see all types of promotions for food products of different national and international brands. In the fresh fruit sector, however, this campaign is new."

The campaign's image is based on the character Galapagosha, a charming blue-footed booby from the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagosha spins off of the legend of Cheburashka, a character from Russian children's stories that arrived to the country in a box of oranges. Printed on banana boxes, the bird from the Galapagos hopes to teach the nutritional properties of the fruit.

An interactive booth from the campaign

An interactive booth from the campaign

In recent years, Russia has become the main market for Ecuadorian banana exports. According to figures provided by Lema, 2012 exports totaled around 1.26 million tons (MT) in volume and close to US$700 million in monetary value.

"2013 will be a year in which sales surpass previous years. In the first quarter, our banana exports grew 20% in respect to the same period in 2012," Lema said.

Currently Ecuadorian bananas make up 90% of the Russian market. This year, Ecuador hopes to increase its share to 92%.

"In Russia, fruit consumption continues to grow. In 2012, fruit consumption was around 71 kilograms per capita. In 2003, it was 36 kilograms. This shows continued growth and great potential for further growth," Lema said.

"Now if we look at these values, per capita banana consumption is close to 8 kilograms. In other words, that's close to 3/4 a banana per person per week. Banana consumption in other European countries is close to 15 kilograms per person a year. So you can see the huge potential for growth in Russia."

Bananas are one of the most consumed fruits in Russia after apples, which have a per capita annual consumption of 11 kilograms, Lema added. Citrus fruit also have a slightly higher consumption level at 10 kilograms per capita a year.

Related story: Ecuador to reinforce Russian fruit market position


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