Italian kiwifruit packhouses' experience in dealing with COVID-19 has helped New Zealand to fast-track innovation in its own packhouses to deal with stringent new safety regulations.
“It makes sense – consumers want consistency, they want quality,” she told the HortConnections conference in Melbourne last week.
“Brand is important around the world and that is why we want to build our brand globally. There are lots of other drivers there in decisionmaking – social image, price and the appearance of the fruit,” she explained.
If it doesn’t look good consumers won’t pick it up, Byrnes added.
“That is a challenge for kiwifruit in particular: it is brown on the outside and not very attractive, but the inside is beautiful. So we like showcasing the inside of our fruit as much as possible.”
She told the conference that a brand needs to be meaningful and relevant to the consumer.
“The most successful brands in the world are different. They are seen as different and unique in the category. They are dynamic and they set the trends.”
In the category, Zespri is looking to innovate for the future with more varieties of kiwifruit.
It has worked on a global brand vision that will be seen as consistent by consumers across the globe. The team has proposed the brand vision ‘making life delicious’. That is the vision of where they want to go as a brand globally in the future.
But they also have existing campaigns that have worked well in many countries that are quite different, Byrnes says.
In some countries Zespri needs to overcome the perception that green kiwifruit is quite sour when, in fact, the ripe fruit is sweet, Byrnes says.
The advertising examples shown differed in tone and mood. She explained that Zespri is on a global journey to see where it could find consistency or where it needs to be locally relevant or individual to a specific market.