Kevin Frye Talks Building Customer Loyalty With AgroFresh’s RipeLock™ Quality System
PHILADELPHIA, PA - Those of us who have seen the ebbs and flows of the produce industry know that being able to create loyal customers is something that can make or break a business over time. But how do you make sure your customers are loyal to your products? The key is consistency, says Kevin Frye, Sales Manager for AgroFresh’s RipeLock™ North America. Showing your customers that you will be able to consistently provide high-quality, ripe produce is an excellent way to capture the hearts and minds of shoppers everywhere, and one way to do this, Kevin says, is through the RipeLock™ Quality System.
“It’s probably safe to say that, to have bananas stay fresh longer than their typical short shelf-life is incredibly desirable for retailers and consumers alike,” Kevin explains. “While price discounts and promotions are effective in driving traffic to retail, studies show that consumers cite appearance and ripeness as the two most important factors in their produce buying decision—before price. Eighty-six percent of shoppers occasionally purchase produce on impulse, based on these two key attributes.”
As we’ve reported previously, AgroFresh’s RipeLock Quality System allows its users unmatched control over the ripening process, as a way to ensure bananas, and soon categories beyond, retain their freshness throughout the supply chain, all the way to the consumer. When produce professionals across the supply chain include RipeLock in their existing banana programs, everyone benefits, Kevin says.
“In preparation for shipping, bananas are placed in RipeLock bags creating an optimal environment that controls respiration and maintains proper humidity during the shipping process, reducing rot and mold. Approaching the end of the ripening cycle, the RipeLock application helps to hold the bananas’ color longer, reduce sugar spots and maintain pulp freshness and texture. When the bananas reach the retailer, they remain in the RipeLock bags to maintain quality until they are ready for display. The RipeLock process, which fits into normal banana handling practices and extends the quality of the fruit from the farm to the display, attracting more customers and increasing sales for retailers.”
Another way Kevin says RipeLock can assist in making loyal customers is to help retailers focus on fresh—a tactic we’ve been seeing from many retailers who are looking to stay competitive in today’s buy-side landscape, whether it be Amazon and Whole Foods, Kroger, and many more.
“Increasing consumer focus on health and wellness further drives demand of quality produce, and consumers will shop wherever they need to in order to get it, even if it means shopping at multiple retailers to meet their weekly grocery needs,” Kevin adds. “According to research from FMI, better quality or the freshness of produce is the number one reason for switching channels. Consumers demand freshness!”
Additional studies from MMR Research Worldwide show that consumers prefer RipeLock bananas over regular bananas more than 2 to 1 when evaluating taste, texture, color, freshness, ripeness, and appearance—and this goes for both unpeeled and peeled bananas. The firm’s research suggests that a successful banana program delivers more consistent quality and a longer shelf-life of bananas, which will increase customer loyalty, reduce waste, and ultimately help drive increased produce sales overall.
Want to find out more about RipeLock and how you can implement it into your part of the supply chain? Check out the AgroFresh website for all the details, and be sure to visit PMA Fresh Summit booth #4217 on the show floor!