Fruits and vegetables are staple foods, so some people might think that there is no need to invest in marketing for this product group. In fact, there is still a lot that can be done to increase the consumption of healthy foods even further. We spoke to Stephan Schilling, Head of PR & Communications at Divimove: "The German fruit and vegetable trade needs to take off its marketing blinkers."
Schilling had already given an insight into the possibilities of modern marketing in the food industry at the German Fruit and Vegetable Congress 2020 in Düsseldorf. The presentation was well received by the audience: "The aim was to be a wake-up call for the players in the industry. However, up to now producers in particular, and to some extent retailers, have lacked the courage to take the first step. Often, decision-makers are too far removed from the zeitgeist and the generations they want to reach. Yet the possibilities and room for change are virtually endless."
Stephan Schilling during his presentation at DOGK 2020.
So what's the problem, is the food sector itself too conservative? "Not at all, and there are also some good examples. Food retailers in Germany, above all the large chains, have been working increasingly and successfully on their image for several years, and are not infrequently also among the first movers on new platforms such as TikTok. Abroad, too, especially in the US or with our Dutch neighbors, there is noticeably more courage in digital brand communication. This applies to B2C as well as B2B."
The fact is that there is a new generation of customers, and it would be good to make the consumption of fruit and vegetables more palatable: "There has to be a change in mindset, thinking less from the ego perspective and putting the target group at the center of communication. This also includes moving out of one's comfort zone and speaking the language of consumers and new platforms. This is also possible in formats for the fruit and vegetable trade. Social media are excellent for this, because compared to classic media, you can try out a lot of things with lower investments and also readjust campaigns in case of doubt." He appeals to the sector to "be less timid and just do it."
The template for this has more than been laid by 2020: "People are more engaged than ever at home with topics such as health, fitness, cooking and baking - this is the perfect entry point for an initiative by the German fruit and vegetable sector."