While Dole established the single-serve fruit cups category with the launch of its Fruit Bowls, the $600MM+ category was declining every year due to a decrease in household penetration. Consequently, as the category leader and being premium-priced, Dole Fruit Bowls had experienced significant sales declines. But we found a simple but powerful way not only to reverse the brand’s sales decline, but to revitalize the entire SSFC category, too. If we focused on an ownable and compelling product attribute that gave Dole a distinct competitive advantage, we would both disrupt the category and reignite consumer interest in Dole Fruit Bowls.
Dole is the only national brand of single serve fruit bowls packed in 100% real fruit juice vs. syrup, but research revealed consumers incorrectly believed all fruit cups were packed
in 100% juice. They were unaware that only Dole had this distinct benefit. The target believed that all fruit is good fruit – incorrectly assuming that they’re all the same and packed
in 100% juice.
Our insight was deceptively simple, but powerful. In a low-involvement category in which consumers didn’t give much thought to their purchase, we needed to disrupt consumer thinking about fruit cup products, ensuring that they understood that Dole was the only brand that offered single-serve fruit cups packed in 100% real fruit juice. Further, it revealed that if consumers were aware that one brand offered this benefit over another, they would buy that brand every time. Our communications strategy was laser-focused on one task: communicate that Dole is the only brand that offers single-serve fruit cups packed in 100% real fruit juice instead of syrup.
The campaign idea “Drain It, Drink It” creatively and humorously brought to life this compelling product truth. The campaign highlighted that not all cups are created equal – rolling out across Network TV, Cable, Online Video Streaming and our owned social channels, while collateral materials and trade support/FSI focused on simple and direct communication of the same key “100% juice” message. A small PR campaign enlisted soccer star Brandi Chastain to spread the message in local-market SMT.
Our video plan was truly cross-channel, with the following tactics running across a mix of Desktop, In-App Tablet and Mobile, Over-the-Top (Apple TV, etc.), Smart TV and VOD with content partners such as Hulu, ABC, CBS, NBC and The CW to capture the portion of our audience that consumes premium TV and movie content online, in an immersive, full-screen environment. Lastly, Online Video Programmatic including YouTube to further drive targeted reach and efficiency of our video plan.
The results were speedy and dramatic – not only changing perceptions but changing behavior. Results far exceeded goals and revitalized not only Dole’s Fruit Bowls sales but the entire category, too. Category volume increased +4.8% after the campaign launched. This growth was overwhelmingly driven by Dole Fruit Bowls sales, accounting for over 77% of category volume growth, even with its gross price increase. Bottom line: We exceeded our already aggressive goals. Our communications strategy drove greater understanding of Dole’s competitive advantage, leading to preference in market and bringing incrementality to the category.