In a season with limited social contact, Kanzi has intensified its promotions with campaigns that reach out to consumers through technology and pass on a message filled with vitality and energy.
Fruit Today had the chance to talk to Hannes Tauber, Head of Marketing at the VOG consortium and with Coen Kampschoer of Fruit Masters, about the successful campaign Kanzi apples are having all over Europe, but particularly on the Spanish market.
First of all, could you give me a brief history of the development of this variety, as well as the origin of its name?
Kanzi is an apple that was born around fifteen years ago and it is the result of a cross between a Royal Gala and a Braeburn; therefore, it brings together the best characteristics of both apples and its stands out due to its pleasant, balanced flavour. It is a brand that has obtained a trustworthy recognition and is among the top three apples in the world.
Regarding the origin of its name, it comes from Swahili and means ‘hidden treasure’, referring to its internal qualities.
Kanzi has started an important promotional campaign in Spain. What have our country and our consumers got that interests you so much? Is this situation similar across all of Europe or is Kanzi better suited to the tastes of Mediterranean consumers?
Apple consumption throughout Europe is very high and I don’t believe that Spain is very different on this point, but we are seeing a growing interest and a high demand. I think that when Spanish consumers try this apple, they repeat because it is crunchy, sweet and juicy, in such a way that the brand is gaining followers and it acts as a guarantee for consumers. Additionally, the fact that Spaniards are very closely linked to the Mediterranean diet helps with its consumption. Studies with consumer panels indicate that Kanzi is a variety that is highly appreciated in southern countries.
It clearly seems that the target market for Kanzi is young consumers. And I say this because of the influencers and promotional gadgets that were used in this campaign. What about the rest of the consumers?
We are interested in all the target groups. In fact, we keep track of good feedback with consumers of all ages, but in this campaign we want to focus on young people as future consumers. And, therefore, the marketing tools we are using are the ones most used by them, such as video games, videos, social media and influencers.
The campaign theme is the vitality and energy that this apple contains and gives. How did you come up with this idea, and is it connected to this notion of pandemic fatigue we are all suffering from?
We always wanted to give out this message about the energy that eating this apple provides, but the truth is that in the present pandemic situation, it might possibly be even more important to highlight the recharging of energy we experience when eating this apple. Our aim, as we cannot be present through demonstrations, is for consumers to feel the product’s proximity and for them to eat it at different times, throughout the day.
The latest focus group run by the Ministry of Agriculture in Spain indicates that apple consumption has increased by 12% in the last year, and has had an average growth of 5% over the past 5 years. What do you make of this data?
This is highly satisfactory data, but not only for Kanzi. I think that it is a success story for the entire sector, in particular coinciding with the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables.
Every year there is greater awareness about leading a healthy life, not only by exercising, but also with a healthy diet. And, obviously, the only good thing about this pandemic is that we have become even more aware of this and we have gone back to cooking healthily in our homes.
You always carry out promotional campaigns in the biggest Spanish wholesale markets. What role does the retail sector play in the sales of Kanzi?
It is true that we have carried out many campaigns in the Spanish wholesale markets because we know their importance in the Spanish sector, but we also maintain an important demand by the retailers, who are increasingly more interested in our product because it offers them a guarantee of both quality and continuity.
There is a significant trend that has increased after the pandemic, towards buying local. And these days Spanish apples are benefitting from this. As exporters, do you see any threat in this dynamic?
No, we are really not seeing it as a threat. Europeans know and are aware that there are regions where certain crops have better development conditions and this is what we must take advantage of in order to have fresh fruit and vegetables all year long. We have excellent partners and connections with the Spanish market and the most important point is to join forces and work together.
What overall level of production has Kanzi reached in Europe?
Kanzi productions have increased year after year in Europe. Our production potential on the Old Continent reaches 60,000 tonnes/year. We also have productions in another eleven countries, amongst them some in the southern hemisphere, which allow us to be present in supermarkets 12 months of the year.