Bil Goldfield Dives into Merchandising Strategies with Dole and Disney
CHARLOTTE, NC - Disney and Dole. Apart from being beautifully alliterate, the pairing is a formidable one that has built a merchandising playbook with strategies for every occasion from any side of fresh produce.
“Dole has partnered with various like-minded organizations over the years that can help us reach and motivate more heads of households to build healthier families. During my time at Dole, this has ranged from projects with film studios like DreamWorks Animation as part of our ‘Go Bananas Every Day’ promotion, which included various in-store merchandising elements, to partnerships with nonprofit groups like Action for Healthy Kids and Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program,” Bil Goldfield, Director of Communications for Dole Food Company, reflects.
Most recently, Dole launched A Recipe for Courage and Kindness with longtime nutritional collaborator Disney. The scale and support of Dole’s alliance with the branding giant, Bil shares, is unique within produce, and takes Dole to a level usually reserved for brands offering clothing, toys, and CPG products.
“I am proud of the fact that we have brought marketing sophistication on par with some of Disney’s largest licensing partners to the produce department and refrigerated salad section. The key to merchandising is getting consumers to look at you,” Bil points out.
Dole has a long history with Disney that stretches back to 1976, when Dole became the sponsor of Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. This broke the ground for a similar sponsorship at Walt Disney World and the birth of the fabled Dole Whip in 1986.
What makes such a match? Aligned values, a similar family target standpoint, and the prowess to match any generated demand.
“At Dole, we’re fortunate to be able to combine our long-term Disney alliance with a 171-year legacy of healthy products, the industry’s leading recipe library and other consumer resources, a commitment to new products, and our retail merchandising experience into a force that is hard to beat in the fresh produce space,” Bil shares.
Though Disney approached Dole years ago about developing a deeper health and wellness alliance targeting parents of families with young children, it wasn’t until 2016 that a multiyear agreement was officially announced.
“Like any alliance between two global brands, it took a lot of work to make it happen. Ultimately, we came together for the simple goal of making healthy eating fun. Dole was providing the generations of healthy products while The Walt Disney Company (TWDC)—specifically Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters—was supplying the fun,” Bil says with a smile.
A Recipe for Courage and Kindness is the 13th campaign born of this alliance, and comes with all the power of the successes that precede it.
“Dole sales reps work with store and produce managers to create customized POS collateral, display contests, and other materials that allow retailers to more fully leverage the latest Disney film in-store and become part of the accompanying buzz and excitement, at least indirectly,” Bil tells me, adding that Dole puts a great deal of resources behind its marketing campaigns. “We make sure that they are seen in social media, on mobile and web, in broadcast and in trade. However, in my opinion, the place where this all culminates is in-store at the point of purchase. Trends over the past decade have reduced that in-store component to POS signage that serves as the final reminder and decision opportunity of all prior efforts. Keeping a full and robust produce department continually culled and stocked is the draw to enter, but a final sale can often be traced to some other inspiration—whether it be a usage idea, culinary tip, or other emotional connection. Using signage throughout the produce department is a great merchandising tool for sparking that crucial inspiration.”
Whether that image is drawn from a favorite Disney heroine or Star Wars idol on-pack, an opportunity for kids to create their own tea parties, or a yet-unannounced merchandising ace, this wide-reaching brand duo comes down to one thing: Ensuring kids and their families see produce in ways that connect with them, making them want to consume more and more. Not a bad playbook to leaf through!