Citrus at the checkout: Record season start for Wonderful Halos

December 15 , 2017

Stores with Wonderful Citrus’ “Grove of Goodness” point of sale (POS) displays have seen sales velocity double, with an aggressive marketing campaign set to continue for the next five months.

Major Californian easy peeler brand Wonderful Halos have been flying off the shelves with sales up 7% year-on-year in the first four weeks of the campaign, marking the biggest start to the season yet. 

Wonderful Brands VP of marketing Adam Cooper

The achievement, which also included the group’s biggest Thanksgiving ever (up 15% on last year), has largely been attributed to a mix of out-of-store marketing and the “Grove of Goodness” POS collection.

Wonderful Brands VP of marketing Adam Cooper said 12,000 POS units had been shipped so far, including a grove-to-store tractor and a grove tree display with a smaller footprint that can be placed in secondary locations.

“We certainly do a lot of marketing to drive people in the store. We spend US$25 million each season to drive people in the store,” Cooper told Fresh Fruit Portal.

“We kick-start that with a big TV campaign as well as our biggest digital program ever, and this year for example on Facebook and Instagram we did this big blast where we reached 70 million impressions announcing that Halos were back.

He said all this helped to drive people to the store, followed by the support of the POS to promote spontaneous purchases. 

“Almost 60% are buying on impulse so they need to really see it. Halos are obviously a seasonal product, and when they’re back people need to see it right away. I think the marketing, the POS has really helped trigger that,” he said.

“We’re now seeing that we’re 85% bigger than the next-biggest brand so far, and when we’ve been able to isolate the stores that have these big displays versus those that don’t, those stores that do have a 2x velocity; they have double the velocity when on display.”

He said Wonderful sought to make the POS process as easy as possible for retailers, providing merchandise experts to put the displays up. 

“We have 175 merchandisers just working on Wonderful in the store to make sure this all happens, and they work very closely with the store managers and produce managers,” Cooper said.

“We’ve seen these retailers take advantage, so they’re not only putting these displays in the produce section but they’re finding new places for it around the store. 

“For example we’ve seen them in delis, in the bakery area, we’ve even seen them in the front of the lobby or the pharmacy, and that’s a great place to inspire some of those healthier options.”

He added some of the most progressive retailers had been putting up the tree displays at checkout, and to great effect.

“Our research shows 80% of shoppers are looking for healthier options at checkout, so these progressive retailers are seeing that and go, ‘Wonderful Halos is the perfect healthy snack – let’s put it up right at check-out’. And we’ve seen the fruit really fly off the shelf,” he said.

And the POS displays’ success has not gone unnoticed by the retailers that haven’t been carrying them.

“What we’ve seen is because of this early success retailers are getting excited and they’re actually increasing the number of displays they’re going to put out even for the back half of the season. 

“And we’ve had other retailers give us a call saying hey, we really want to find a way to get these in stores. So we’ve seen success in other places so I think the momentum is just starting.”

Growth in other Wonderful Brands categories

Cooper said mandarins continued to lead growth in the citrus sector, having seen 20% year-on-year growth for the last five years running, but other segments of the company were also performing well.

“Generally speaking, Florida has suffered so grapefruit is another citrus out of Texas that can help make up for that which has been good. We’ve seen some of that come in,” he said.

“Generally across the company we’ve seen a lot of success; Wonderful Pistachios continues to be America’s fastest growing snack brand which we continue to be excited about. 

“They have a lot of POS displays themselves and a lot of the same innovative marketing, a fully integrated program for them.”

The highlighted the group’s pomegranate arils ‘Pom Poms’ had also seen their biggest start to the season ever.

“We’ve seen retailers take advantage of that, not only in the cut fruit area but also in the berry aisle,” he said.

“Certainly our pre-existing groves continue to drive growth, but of course Ruby Fresh was a nice addition. 

“A lot of it is from our own orchards still growing, we have good partners, and we’re excited – the Pom Poms brand is starting to be recognized more by consumers so there’s a lot of upside there.”


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