NatureSweet's Lori Castillo Discusses Maximizing Its Tomato Innovations
SAN ANTONIO, TX - One of my favorite sections of the produce department has always been tomatoes. And it has been wonderful to watch the flavor and variety evolve since I was a just a little tyke. When shopping today’s competitive greenhouse tomato category, I feel like a kid in the candy store, and one of those companies helping to drive innovation and flavor forward is NatureSweet® Tomatoes.
In the run up to Christmas, the New Year, and to accompany the ongoing U.S. football season, I spoke with Brand Manager Lori Castillo, who shared some of those innovative items that NatureSweet is spotlighting this month, and how they align with today’s retailers and consumers.
Two of NatureSweet’s products that are making an impact in produce departments, are the company’s SunBursts in 10.5 oz packaging as well as the Constellation™ Tomatoes, a medley in 16.5 oz clamshells.
“In the last few years, more consumers are looking for healthy snack options when entertaining guests at tailgates, hosting parties for big sporting events, or just having family over for the holidays,” Lori shared with me. “They want options that are not only healthy, but taste great and SunBursts and Constellation™ provide that sweet, bursting flavor.”
I asked Lori how these products respond to, or help drive consumer trends, and she shared that for SunBursts, consumers are putting fun, healthy spins on some of their favorite dips and platters at tailgates or sports parties. For example, guacamole and hummus are very popular options for the big game.
“Playing upon their popularity, we’ve created a variety of recipes perfect for snacking throughout the game, including Sunbursts Guacamole and SunBursts and Hummus on Pita,” she said.
The Constellation™ Tomatoes are also part of the company’s greenhouse-grown program, where the tomatoes are nurtured with care, and hand-picked off the vine.
“NatureSweet® Constellation™ Tomatoes are Tomatoes Raised Right–as the current campaign designed to resonate the authenticity and story of our brand shares,” Lori added. “This items offers a tomato for every occasion–appetizers, soups, sides, and entrees. Constellation™ Tomatoes just make entertaining a little easier and a whole lot sweeter.”
For retailers looking to tap into the NatureSweet lineup and create a destination at produce, the company brings a variety of different racks and secondary displays to the table, in order to aid in merchandising efforts that can help increase sales nearly 30 percent.
“One of the other things NatureSweet is known for is our fun lineup of in-store promotions,” Lori said. “We’ve partnered with retailers on many different consumer promotions for years, and continue to do so because we know it helps maximize sales.”
Take the current SunBursts retail promotion for example: NatureSweet is giving shoppers a chance to win groceries with the Snack with Sweetness Sweepstakes. Participating is easy–simply snap a photo of your favorite NatureSweet® SunBursts® game day snack and upload it to Instagram with #snacksweet. One winner will be chosen at random to win a $1,000 grocery gift card. Multiple lower-level winners will receive $500 and $100 Grocery Gift Card prizes. The promotion will be supported by a variety of marketing materials from POS cards, shipper displays, and custom digital content for retailer social media and email blasts.
With holiday planning and Sundays full of football on the brain, we will continue to bring you more news and updates from our industry’s most flavor-forward companies on AndNowUKnow.