Orchardists told to think outside the box with marketing

An Okanagan College marketing professor instructed B.C.’s fruit growers on Friday in Penticton on capturing a larger share of the market,

Rick Appleby

An Okanagan College marketing professor instructed B.C.’s fruit growers on Friday in Penticton on capturing a larger share of the market,

Adding value is key, said Rick Appleby, marketing professor in the college’s Okanagan School of Business, but he said it’s also important to know your customers; their needs and interests; and what they have to spend.

By persuading your customer there’s added value to your product, they’re more likely to be willing to pay more for it, he explained.

Prior to his presentation to growers, he said he did a little market research and discovered only 60 per cent of his students buy apples every week.

The reason, he found, was that apples weren’t available for sale nearby.

“Why weren’t they available?” he asked. Millions could be sold to students alone, he said.

In addition, he found that lots of restaurants don’t have apple dishes on their menus. “Something’s missing,” he noted.

As well, he said retailers are consolidating, exchange rates have weakened, fuel costs are increasing and world production is increasing.

But, he said the good news is that the industry is developing new varieties; there’s room for the industry to grow in domestic markets; the population is increasing; there’s increasing support for the buy-local movement; and there is support for socially and environmentally-responsible businesses.

He advised growers to capitalize more on their long history of recognition for the Okanagan and B.C. brand. It’s also important to optimize quality, he said, and to build relationships.

Growers should think outside the box in marketing apples. Take a familiar, well-known brand and think of it in terms of local fruit, such as StarBob’s Apple Outlets, he suggested with a grin.

Market apples as a healthy snack for after exercising, for example, he said. He advised that just a five per cent increase in loyalty can equate to a 95 per cent increase in product sales.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

Just Posted

Community Leader Awards: Anja Dumas

The Kelowna Capital News puts the spotlight on community leaders with annual awards

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Blowing snow, slippery sections on Okanagan Connector

Compact snow, poor visibility on Highway 97 from Pennask Summitt to Brenda Mines.

IH adds immunization clinic Sunday in Kelowna

Drop-in meningococcal vaccination clinic on today at Community Health & Services Centre

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

UBCO prof tests software to help cancer patients

Program may help those reluctant to engage ‘tough conversations’ in advance care planning

Broken de-icer delays flights at Kelowna airport

Passengers were on board for three hours Sunday waiting for departure to Vancouver

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Well-known Canadian bird making a comeback

Once on the brink of extinction, the peregrine falcon no longer considered at risk in Canada.

Suzuki: Shine a light during dark times

People need to remain positive despite difficult and unpredictable political climate

Most Read