Proprietary Variety Management's Kathryn Grandy Discusses Branded Apple Offerings; Albert Tsui Comments
YAKIMA, WA - The apple category is ripe with opportunity, according to Proprietary Variety Management’s (PVM) Kathryn Grandy. I recently sat down with the Chief Marketing Officer to discuss PVM’s portfolio of branded apple varieties, and the advantages it provides to retailers.
“Branded fruit that delivers consistently delicious experiences will increase consumption and build shopper loyalty,” she began telling me. “It’s difficult to achieve this brand promise without managed programs like Cosmic Crisp®, Pink Lady®, and other PVM products. Retailer support from sales organizations teamed with consumer education and promotions are powerful tools. When we work in concert with one another, there is tremendous momentum.”
PVM provides trademark protection to licensed growers, packer/shippers, and retailer organizations as well as the development of differentiated brands. Kathryn explained that as categories grow with new products, a differentiated brand strategy is critical.
“As brand awareness grows with consumers, so does the demand for proprietary products. Our model is based on the value chain where everyone who touches the fruit succeeds. For retailers, we are developing strong consumer awareness while our sales organizations assist with supply and retail promotional programs,” Kathryn stated.
In terms of educating the consumer, PVM maintains extensive websites for its family of brands, which provide retailer toolkits as well as sales company designed materials such as POS, merchandising unit design, and other digital assets.
“We also offer custom signage designs for retail and suppliers,” Kathryn noted. “For consumers, we partner with a variety of influencers to showcase various attributes of our branded fruit, particularly in the ‘how to’ culinary category. Today’s consumers are looking to be inspired by new ways to enjoy fruits and vegetables and learn fresh twists on traditional recipes.”
On top of all this, PVM’s marketing team supports brands with out-of-store product samplings and event marketing, awareness campaigns, and an extensive social and digital presence.
“We are also continually developing new secondary products, working to execute joint displays and promotions to build demand. Some retailers enjoy store experiential takeovers, especially during the holidays, where we feature a brand and have activations, demonstrations, and consumer engagements throughout all departments,” Kathryn added. “Often, we provide geo-targeting through social media for our products that are promoted at retail.”
For many of its branded apple varieties, PVM works with research teams at universities such as Washington State University or Cornell to determine the best apple qualities possible and bring them to market.
“A best practice is to ensure that growers, marketers, retailers, and the University breeding team all realize the value in the IP associated with bringing a new apple variety to market,” said Albert Tsui, Senior Plant Varieties Licensing & Business Development Officer and Registered U.S. Patent Attorney, Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University.
Looking to add more branded apples to your department? PVM just might be the partner for you.