Adventures in Fruit
Getting the fruit out of the store to get customers into the stores
Adventures in Fruit was developed in response to some market research that we carried out amongst consumers that resulted in the realisation that to get more customers into M&S stores, we needed to get the fruit out of the store. We designed a grower-driven campaign that interacts with customers on multiple levels to tell them about the best fruit in season. Working in close conjunction with M&S, Adventures in Fruit meets customers at shows, tasting events, press events, through blogging, social media, competitions, recipe generation, media coverage, bespoke promotional activities and celebrity interaction.
One of our biggest successes is the collaboration between suppliers in a new bid to see the fruit category flourish as a whole, as they support each other. This is a very forward-thinking approach and also a rare one in a competitive market. M&S fruit is gaining a name for having the best fruit available, all year round. We are also helping to spread the word that it is at the frontline of innovation and ethical practices, as we seek to add transparency to the supply chain to enable the consumer to make informed purchasing choices. Giving the grower a voice in the supply chain is in keeping with current consumer interest in understanding the impact of their product choices.
There is a sizeable problem in the fruit industry linked to the lack of varietal and seasonal knowledge amongst consumers. Therefore if a customer eats a bad strawberry, they sometimes say "I don't really like strawberries". When expensive cherries are sold alongside inexpensive bananas, people often feel that cherries are 'expensive', yet they wouldn't consider a bottle of wine (also a treat) expensive. Our broader strategy is to help consumers be more involved with what they eat. Shopping knowledgeably helps retailers, farmers, suppliers and customers. It also raises the standard of fruit production as consumers become more discerning and expectations are raised.
In 2016 we have taken M&S fruit to the public with 11 shows, 20 sampling events, 2 successful press launch events (one with a Thai theme in London, and the other with an apple and pear theme in an orchard in Kent), social media, competitions, recipe creation, working with bloggers, consumer insight, celebrity sampling, a website, videos, an inter-supplier 'Monster Race', and we have even sent apples up on an aeroplane with wingwalkers and sent a fig into space! The fig in space generated a reach of 400,000 people, for £300 - a huge success. All of our campaigns have been carried out by our own staff and contractors. We really have had an enormous adventure, whilst also using the opportunity to raise £4000 for Mind and £1000 for The 100 Project - two amazing charities. We have also supplied surplus fruit to schools, nursing homes, homeless shelters and food banks.