Del Monte Fresh Vice President of Marketing Dionysios Christou Talks New Items, New Packaging, and Fresh Cut Offerings
- by Jordan Okumura
CORAL GABLES, FL - What better way to sweeten the end of 2016 and prep for New Year’s resolutions than with a full-line of fresh produce offerings and a new on-trend item to boot. If you ask Del Monte® Fresh, the team is doing just that.
Vice President of Marketing, Dionysios Christou, took a few minutes out of his day to share with me the latest and greatest with Del Monte, and what retailers can do to brighten up produce departments.
“Leading up to Christmas, we plan to promote our whole and fresh cut produce lines. Del Monte fresh fruits and veggies are a great fit for entertaining during the holidays since they are healthy, convenient, versatile, and delicious,” Dionysios shares. “Not only can they serve large parties, but they also offer guests the option to take the healthier route instead of indulging in the traditional hearty foods associated with the holidays. On the new product front, we are especially excited to introduce our newest product line this fall, The Del Monte® Vegetable Noodles, as an excellent healthy holiday item.”
The Del Monte® Vegetable Noodles are available in zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potato, and butternut squash flavors. This product line was created to align with recent consumer trend focusing on healthy alternatives to pastas and other carb-heavy products. Del Monte® Vegetable Noodles are a perfect solution, since they are 100% fresh and preservative free, healthy, and most importantly, delicious. They come conveniently packaged and ready to cook or serve.
“Del Monte Fresh Produce also recently developed innovative packaging for its Del Monte® Fresh Cut Grab-N-Go fruit and vegetable line as well,” Dionysios tells me. “The product now comes in tamper evident packaging with large, clear nutritional panels. The new packaging is sleek, clear, and shows the entire product. It also fits conveniently in car cup holders for on-the-go consumers and is great for convenience channels.”
The consumer preference is continuing to shift toward health and wellness, and fresh produce must continue to be a high priority for all channels, Dionysios adds.
“In order to drive sales and consumption of this category, retailers should align their produce department to the changing needs, trends, and shopping behaviors of consumers. Key components to this continued growth include innovation, item assortment, and accessibility,” he says. “We also work closely with retail customers to optimize the performance of their fresh produce category by focusing on all the elements that drive sales and minimize costs. This includes, but is not limited to, design plan-o-grams, sales analyses, business reviews, promotion and pricing initiatives.”
When I ask Dionysios if he has any best practices or tips for retailers when it comes to truly taking advantage of Del Monte’s product spread this season, he shares that retailers can best position Del Monte fresh fruits and veggies in-store for optimal sales by incorporating eye catching POS on shelves, in-store demos, cross merchandising, and improved labeling information about the product on-pack.
“Promotions during periods with special themes attract the attention of the consumers and drive sales, including Christmas, New Year’s and Super Bowl,” he says. Retailers can also promote holiday produce recipes and deals on their social media pages and utilize holiday-themed secondary displays to increase sales leading up to Christmas.
Time to start planning those New Year’s resolutions! It is never too early to begin.