Knowing more about the consumer is always key,
but hearing it first-hand is invaluable.
Susan Barrow | UK & Ireland Market Manager
Zespri wanted to understand more about consumer buying habits and preferences for kiwifruit in order to encourage a greater uptake in the UK. Cheaper Chilean kiwifruit is widely available, and, coupled with a potential lack of awareness of what defines Zespri as a premium brand, these were important factors when considering this research.
Knowing how to communicate, promote and educate consumers on the differences between green kiwi and the SunGold variety made this a juicy prospect for England Marketing. Attitudes to taste, health benefits, quality and cost would all help to inform future strategies for Zespri.
We used an online survey to quickly gather consumer opinions around kiwi purchasing habits and preferences, and the findings informed the next stage of qualitative research. Our panel were quick to respond, with not only frequent kiwi purchasers emerging, but also some kiwi fanatics!
Following this initial data gathering, three interactive workshops were hosted at our Research Hub, exploring all things kiwi while the Zespri team observed. Green and SunGold kiwifruits were sampled in the tasting booths, enabling independent feedback. A debate took place on how consumers eat kiwis, when, and even what their preferred packaging is, but the greatest debate was around who liked ‘the green or the gold’ kiwifruit.
Zespri had an inkling that, once tasted, participants would be SunGold converts, but needed further evidence as how to entice consumers to try them; research revealed they were right. Zespri learned more about how well their brand is recognised, as well as establishing what drives UK customer choice in their fresh fruit purchases.
The findings showed that consumers saw real value in brand values, the health benefits kiwifruit delivers and the differences between cheaper kiwifruit, the Zespri green kiwifruit and the undisputedly delicious SunGold variety.