Category Captain: Tomatoes: NatureSweet Ltd.

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Category Captain: Tomatoes: NatureSweet Ltd.

11/18/2011

As a leader in the premium fresh tomato category, NatureSweet Ltd. understands that it’s essential to fine-tune promotional strategies to ensure category success.

Although the company specializes in small greenhouse-grown tomatoes, it teams with retailers to grow the entire tomato category. Earlier this year, NatureSweet teamed up with The Perishables Group to analyze point-of-sale data and circular ad activity to complete a comprehensive best practices study. The report evaluated past promotional frequency, discount, seasonality, ad type and location to develop a set of successful promotion parameters for retailers to implement.

NatureSweet uses integrated data from The Perishables Group and MarketTrack to evaluate the direct impact of specific retailer ads and promotional efforts. Then the company monitors the data to determine the ROI of promotions and works with retail customers to make any necessary adjustments to ensure future success.

NatureSweet shares its insights with retailers to ensure pricing and promotional strategies are as profitable as possible. One promotional best practice from NatureSweet’s study recommends that retailers discount tomatoes 21 percent to 30 percent on average when on promotion. These discounts result in the best combination of volume and dollar impacts on the tomato category.

Another best practice the company suggests is including small tomatoes in category promotions to generate the highest dollar lift. Promoting small tomatoes along with other tomatoes results in the largest volume impacts on the tomato category, ranging from 17 percent to 21 percent, depending on tomato combination. When medium and large tomatoes are promoted together, there’s a 13 percent lift.

Two recent NatureSweet Cherubs promotions at a Midwest retailer demonstrated the success of the tomato best practices established by NatureSweet. The retailer advertised a 25 percent discount on the NatureSweet Cherubs in its weekly circular. Lifts generated from the promotions were 118 percent and 147 percent, respectively. These promotions resulted in high incremental volume sales, generating 40 percent to 47 percent more dollars during the two promotion weeks.