Mary Heslep of Ten Acre Marketing Comments on Benefit of North American Companies Attending Fruit Logistica



Mary Heslep of Ten Acre Marketing Comments on Benefit of North American Companies Attending Fruit Logistica


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BERLIN, GERMANY - According to my LinkedIn timeline, quite a few people in the industry attended Fruit Logistica. The trade show caters to the global fresh produce business and drew quite the crowd, with more than 2,770 exhibitors and over 66,000 attendees.

To learn more about key takeaways from this event, I turned to Mary Heslep, Senior Vice President of Food at Ten Acre Marketing.

Mary Heslep, Senior Vice President, Ten Acre Marketing
Mary Heslep, Senior Vice President of Food, Ten Acre Marketing

“It is clear that understanding consumer behavior must remain a top priority for the produce industry. Our shared perception is that consumers want sustainable packaging options, and they want to know the health benefits of produce products in order to make informed personal decisions,” Mary begins. “However, what we learned is that globally, consumer behavior tells a different story at the point-of-purchase. They're maximizing their dollar, valuing flavor over sustainability and health attributes in their purchasing decisions over time.”

Mary explains one interaction, in which an exhibitor shared their observation that consumers are unwilling to pay for an elevated packaging presentation, despite their desire for a more sustainable package—which are not always one in the same. At the point of purchase, the consumer consistently chooses the more expensive, less sustainable package—the grab-n-go pouch—due to convenience.

Fruit Logistica caters to the global fresh produce business, with more than 2,770 exhibitors and over 66,000 attendees this year

“Another factor to consider as an industry is the growing divide between affluent consumers who purchase without burden, and the budget conscious consumer. As this chasm continues to grow, it presents an opportunity for produce companies to gain greater understanding of the changing consumer behavior landscape,” Mary notes.

Challenges with packaging is something that companies struggle with everywhere, not just in the United States—a somewhat small and refreshing comfort given that many of us in the North American market are told that European packaging innovations are light years ahead of us.

Mary Heslep shares that consumers are maximizing their dollar, valuing flavor over sustainability and health attributes in their purchasing decisions over time

“Produce consumption does not look too different across the globe, which was evident in the innovations we saw and conversations we had,” Mary explains. “With the amount of content noise across food marketing alone, produce marketers need to capture consumer's attention fast, on repeat and with enthusiasm. The message of the health benefits of produce just isn't going to get the job done.”

Mary concludes that we as an industry have to observe consumer behavior, let these observations inform our decisions, and rely on more than research and focus groups.

“Consumers are saying one thing and often behaving differently when they get into the store, which was a recurring theme in conversations throughout the trade fair,” she says.

Will we soon see even more of the industry attending Fruit Logistica for this important global networking? ANUK will be here to report.



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Ten Acre Marketing

Driven by the vision to amplify the power of agriculture, Ten Acre Marketing positions brands to advance agriculture.…