U.S.: Paramount Citrus ups the ante in citrus marketing

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U.S.: Paramount Citrus ups the ante in citrus marketing

With Paramount Citrus now a few weeks into its Wonderful Halos campaign for mandarins, VP marketing Marc Seguin says consumers have already shown excitement about the product and the company has seen good results. He tells www.freshfruitportal.com the US$100 million marketing investment over five years in building the brand is unprecedented for the citrus category and equal on an annualized basis to what has been spent on the Wonderful Pistachios "Get Crackin'" campaign. Halos tagup 1

Seguin says Paramount's philosophy is a "big bang" approach in its marketing efforts, in order to catch attention and break through the clutter consumers see on a daily basis.

"Traditional marketing theory is that you want to have reach and frequency and get people lots of times over a long period of time," Seguin says.

"Because our fruit comes off the trees in short windows, we go loud during shorter windows and we found that to be very successful.

"For us, reaching a new brand and trying to reach consumers in a short season and really get them on board with our brand right away, it’s important to come with a lot of marketing muscle."

While the level of marketing dollars has been seen in other segments of the business, Seguin highlights the amount is substantially more than what's been spent on citrus in the past.

"These are big numbers, extraordinary numbers for produce quite frankly, and any one of our brands that we advertise spends more on advertising than almost all of the produce department combined.

"When you put it together, we’re probably the loudest voice in produce."

He says the campaign builds on past successes in easy peelers with a season that runs until April. Fun and easy for kids and adults alike, he believes there is still much more room for mandarin consumption growth.

"If you look at last year, which was a very good year, these products were selling through supply all of the season...the fact that we’re selling all our supply tells me that there’s still a lot of upside.

"There’s a real opportunity to convert those folks that are buying once or twice to your heavy consumers, by talking to them more and making sure you stay top of mind. We do that through advertising.

Marc Seguin"I think we can grow both in our ability to sell longer throughout the season to people who are buying more, and there are still folks who haven’t tried it so we can bring the new users in as well."

He says for now the campaign is mostly focused on the U.S. with opportunities to undertake some efforts in Canada, but he doesn't rule out the possibility of promotion further afield in the future.

"I'd love to see this as an international branding effort but since this is our first year launching the new brand, we were really focused with our efforts primarily on the domestic market.

"We've done marketing in Australia on Pom Wonderful, that’s one of the international markets where we did invest TV advertising dollars in over the last couple of years, and it consequently is one of our better markets for Pom Wonderful.

"We’ve also done ad campaigns on both pomegranate juice and pistachios in Europe, and will continue to find opportunities to reach out to consumers wherever our products are sold."

Outspoken on the keys to marketing success, Seguin explains his preference for shorter bursts of production to promote a brand over global sourcing to ensure year-round brand visibility.

"From our standpoint there’s no comparable piece of fruit with the California mandarin, whether it’s the beginning or late part of the season," he says.

"If we’re going to build a brand and truly a relationship with the consumer, any relationship comes down to trust. Our relationship with consumers is they trust us to deliver a brand that they know is going to be sweet, easy to peel and delicious.

"If I’m bringing product in from five other countries and sourcing it in different ways just so I can have something in my box with my brand on it, the first thing I’m going to do is begin to erode that trust."


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