Catania Worldwide Launches GO GUAVA Brand at Eastern Canada Costco Locations
ONTARIO, CANADA - I’ll never forget my first bite of a fresh guava. A friendly vendor at my local farmers market made the introduction and I was instantly hooked, leaving me to wonder why I had never tried the fruit before. Catania Worldwide is another fruit fanatic asking this question, and recently took the initiative by bringing its new GO GUAVA brand to eastern Canada-based Costco stores.
“Guava is such an exotic and unique fruit full of flavor, but it’s not an item on the everyday grocery list. This is due to lack of knowledge and awareness about the product, which goes for many tropical items,” said Lila Baig, Business Development and Marketing Manager. “What we did differently with the GO GUAVAs is opted for taste and education. Our packaging allows the consumer to understand the product and its stages of ripening.”
Guavas are sweet, seedy, and have a perfumed tropical smell. Lila explained that when eaten at its ripened state, which is indicated on the chart inside Catania’s clamshell, the fruit produces an incredibly unique eating experience. The company’s branding for the product is integral, aiming to educate consumers on why guavas are healthy and tasty.
“It’s always easy to list a new item, but how will people know what it is and or what to do with it?” Lila pondered. “Education is key, and our packaging allows retailers to educate the consumer. Also, once GO GUAVAs are on the shelves, the smell alone will drive shoppers to it.”
As Catania is known for bringing unique varieties to market, I was curious how the guava category landed a spot in its lineup. Lila explained that this is a move characteristic of Paul Catania Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, who has played an integral role in the company’s category development.
“Catania is enjoying exploring some of the under-promoted exotic items, new and interesting developments, packaging styles, and an increased focus on Mexican production,” Paul said. “Consumers today seem to be very receptive to trying new products.”
The GO GUAVA launch aligns with this positioning and allows Catania to make use of its existing staff, freight lanes, and facilities in Mexico, as well as its established warehouse and distribution operations in McAllen, Texas. Having already established strong retail connections in Canada, Catania was uniquely poised to introduce this new category to the market. Combined with retailers’ desire to promote new items in addition to the truly cosmopolitan population base of Canada, this was the ideal opportunity to launch a new product line.
“Paul always had a drive and passion to bring to market what’s new and different in the world of produce, which is why we as a company have become ‘the fig guys’. And we, as his team, executed that drive for something new, different, delicious, and easy to eat,” Lila told me. “Everyone asks me ‘so you can just eat it like an apple?’ And that’s exactly it. Wash and serve is as convenient as it gets!”
As our discussion came to a close, Lila teased that Catania already has plans to expand this product line throughout Canada and the U.S. with all of its retail partners. By taking the time to understand the product and collaborate with Costco Canada, Catania was able to develop the perfect consumer pack to be utilized across its retail network.
I’ll just leave it at this: GO GUAVA!