Fresh produce is making headlines in New Zealand and around the world.

Countdown has brought the aroma of delicious Hawkes Bay peaches to bus stops in Auckland’s Britomart and Wellington’s Oriental Parade, taking commuters on a sensory journey to celebrate summer stone fruit in stores now.

The bus stops bring Rob Nichol’s Napier peach orchard to life, with a leafy canopy, peach-scented panels, and on the first day commuters will also be treated to some delicious peaches from fruit-laden trees.

Jo Rose, Countdown’s General Manager Marketing, says the bus stops were a way to show and tell customers about summer peaches, but also to tantalise their taste buds during the usually mundane wait for the bus. “Countdown has direct relationships with local growers right around the country which means we can give our customers fantastic fresh fruit direct from the orchard.  We wanted our customers to experience what our buyers do every day – the sights and smells of a peach orchard with delicious produce straight from the tree.

“In the city these days most of us are disconnected from the people who grow and care for our food, and where it comes from. At Countdown we want to change this, and bring Rob and his peaches to the forefront,” she says.

Over the last year, Countdown has been working closely with M&C Saatchi to tell its Grower Fresh story which highlights the relationships between Countdown’s buyers and local growers.

The billboards will stay up until 17 February.

New brand identity for Zespri

Zespri, the world’s leading marketer of kiwifruit, has unveiled its first new look in its 22-year history, with a refreshed brand providing a strong platform for the company to continue its recent growth.

With operating revenue of $3.14 billion in 2018/19, Zespri continues to make excellent progress towards its goal of reaching $4.5 billion in sales by 2025, driven by the commitment of its 2,800 New Zealand and 1,500 offshore growers to produce premium-quality kiwifruit.

Revealed at the world’s leading fresh produce exhibition, Berlin Fruit Logistica, the new brand better reflects the company’s purpose which is to help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit.

The refresh includes a new brand vision, a new brand tagline and a new visual identity that captures the burst of flavour consumers get from biting into a Zespri Kiwifruit.

Chief Growth Officer Jiunn Shih says the New Zealand kiwifruit industry has invested significantly in developing the Zespri brand and the refresh was designed to position the company for its next phase of growth. “We see evidence that consumers today are making more considered purchasing decisions and looking for brands that have a purpose and set of values that they can personally identify with.”

The new brand will be progressively rolled out across Zespri packaging and collateral and enter markets from May 2020, with Zespri set to make its biggest ever investment in marketing in 2020 to ensure a strong brand impact and reach as many consumers as possible.

The refresh follows the company’s operating revenue hitting $3 billion for the first time, and its announcement in late 2019 that Zespri is commercialising a new red kiwifruit variety which will play an important role in attracting even more consumers to the kiwifruit category.

(L to R) Sebastian Carmona (CarSol CEO), David Hughes (Plant & Food Research, CEO), Gareth Edgecombe (T&G Global CEO), Benedikt Mangold (BayWa).

New partnerships for T&G

Consumers across the world may soon be experiencing tastier, fuller-sized blueberries year-round, thanks to two new partnerships in blueberries that will bring premium quality berries with superior genetics, in secured volumes, to customers across the world.

T&G Global and science organisation Plant & Food Research have announced they are entering into a new agreement to breed and commercialise exciting new varieties of blueberries to be sold globally. The breeding programme will produce new varieties of blueberry that will provide improved yield and resistance to disease while also delivering consumers larger, tastier berries over a longer period, with an extended harvest season.

The first new commercial varieties could be launched globally in the next 12 months under T&G Global’s Orchard Rd brand.

“Blueberries are a key strategic play for us in building our global portfolio, and we’re delighted to build another global category to emulate the success of our premium apple brands. We know there is strong consumer demand for blueberries and teaming up with Plant & Food means we get access to a pipeline of world-class varieties,” says Gareth Edgecombe, CEO of T&G Global.

“Securing exclusive rights to the best varieties is the first step in our strategy to build multiple global verticals that drive and enable value and add demand through strong consumer brands,” he says.

The new partnership builds on an existing agreement that grants the global fresh produce grower and marketer, T&G Global, access to a suite of Plant & Food Research-bred and licensed blueberry varieties for production in Australia.

“Plant & Food Research and T&G Global have a strong relationship that began at their legacy organisations in the 1990s,” says David Hughes, CEO Plant & Food Research.

“T&G has an excellent track record of commercialising our varieties, most notably the apples branded JAZZ™ and Envy™. We are looking forward to continuing building on this history and delivering excellent blueberries for New Zealand and global consumers,” he says.

T&G Global has also agreed to a joint venture with one of the world’s largest berry growers, CarSol Fruit Export, enabling the year-round supply and sale of high-quality berries into the lucrative Asian market in future.

CarSol, a blueberry multi-national based out of the Netherlands, started its operation in Chile around 30 years. It has expanded its footprint in recent years beyond its home growing base in Chile to grow blueberries in Peru and Portugal, utilising new genetics and modern growing methods. The company brings strong commercial experience in the Europe and US markets and decades of expertise in growing, sourcing, packing and shipping of blueberries worldwide.

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