Mimmo Franzone Discusses Longo's CITRI-LICIOUS Campaign

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Mon. March 4th, 2019 - by Jordan Okumura-Wright

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO - One of the hardest things for me about being in this industry is trying to explain to consumers that there is an art to this business, and as such they might not know things they think they have figured out. Like, for example, what a Navel orange should taste like.

Mimmo Franzone, Director of Produce and Floral at Longo Brothers Fruit Markets, recently shared with ANUK that this is exactly why his team holds CITRI-LICIOUS as spring approaches.

Mimmo Franzone, Director of Produce and Floral, Longo’s“Every year we run this event in late February or early March as we feel the Navels, specifically, are at their peak and would like our guest to experience what an orange should taste like. The specialty citrus in some cases is a challenge as they are coming to an end, but we have a great partner that has fruit for us throughout the month of March. Featuring an extensive selection of citrus allows our guests to taste and experience the entire category,” Mimmo explains.

This year’s CITRI-LICIOUS launched Friday, March 1st and runs through the 14th, shining a proper spotlight on all things citrus and creating an entire store experience for Longo’s guests.

Longo’s sees plenty of opportunity to get folks to try new varieties of navels and new ways of consuming them

“From baked goods, citrus seafood, and other protein dishes, and also in-store freshly-squeezed juice such as grapefruit and orange...it’s all hands on deck when we have events like this,” Mimmo shares when I observe that not just the fruit is promoted, but all the things it can be an ingredient in.

When I ask about other points of differentiation, he continues, “We utilize social media heavily; there’s ample high-graphic POS in store—it’s covered in three pages of our circular—and last but not least, we cross-merchandise at our stores with all the in-store baked goods from our own Longo’s Bakery.”

CITRI-LICIOUS usually starts late February or early March, when the Navels are at their peak flavor

While there is a specialty citrus highlight to this campaign with an emphasis on seasonal, and a short season at that, Mimmo says that Longo’s sees plenty of opportunity to get folks to try new varieties and new ways of consuming them.

“As for the specialty citrus, we have a Why Not Try campaign which consists of a full demo and tasting initiative that’s put on by our own team members. All these items have their own point-of-sale material that describes the fruit's taste profile, which acts a great education piece for our guests,” he says.

CITRI-LICIOUS shines a proper spotlight on all things citrus and creates an entire store experience for Longo’s guests

As our industry continues to diversify its offerings, look to Longo’s and those in its league to help ensure consumers can keep up with all the innovations! As for more examples of ways the buy-side and supply-side are working together to maximize fresh produce potential, keep reading AndNowUKnow.

Longo Brothers Fruit Markets