When CMI launched their Sweet Gourmet Pear brand in 2013, it was one of the first branded pear programs to enter the market, company officials say, and going into 2016, CMI is building on success that has delivered retailers one of the fastest growing products in the pear category.
According to Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, the Sweet Gourmet Pears brand was developed to make it easier for consumers to buy pears. “People forget that the purchase criteria for an average pear consumer is fundamentally different than for substitute products like apples,” says Lutz. “Consumer generally approach pears with caution. Loyalty card data shows that purchase frequency, transaction size and purchase occasions for pears are all much lower for pears than apples. Quite simply, pears are a lower purchased product indicating that the majority of consumers are smaller volume buyers who approach the category carefully to avoid mistakes.”
According to Lutz, the pear purchase drivers are clear. “Consumers really want ripening and handling tips for each pear variety, and some simple recipe ideas. That’s the core of our Sweet Gourmet Pear branding and packaging.”
Lutz says understanding consumer purchase behavior is the basis of the successful Sweet Gourmet Pears brand. “Knowing how consumers shop the pear category, CMI developed point of sale materials showing mouth-watering photography, easy to make recipes combined with smaller packages that don’t scare off potential new users by requiring them to buy too much fruit.”
“The two-pound pear pouch bag is revolutionizing consumer purchase behavior and you can see it in the incredible sales performance,” says Lutz. Nielsen scan data for the most recent 52 weeks shows that two-pound pear pouch bags were the fastest growing package in the entire pear category, he adds. “If you look at the 30 best selling items in the pear category for last year, no other pear product came close to matching the growth rate of the CMI two pound pouch bag.”
Lutz says that the pear crop this year in Washington has more smaller sized fruit, which will be ideal for the two-pound pouch.
Another key factor behind the success of the Sweet Gourmet two pound package is that it allows retailers to maintain higher unit prices when historically pear bags have been value packs with cheap pricing. Lutz cites Nielsen data showing that over the course of the last year, Sweet Gourmet pears sold at a premium to the category average. “If you look at pricing on the top 20 Anjou pears items compared to the CMI Anjou two-pound pouch, our Sweet Gourmet bag delivered a 25 percent per pound price premium for retailers. No other pear package came close to adding that kind of performance for retailers."
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