An aisle of a Jewel-Osco store in Chicago, Illinois

She went on to comment about fresh produce’s lack of variety – ex- cept for apples – and was surprised when I told her there were often mul- tiple flavors/varieties of fruits. This led her to ask why produce varieties are differentiated by color and not by use or flavor, like other CPG products. Good question. I recently completed a consult- ing project for a grape company. They offered amazing grapes with unique flavors, shapes and levels of

crispness. My brief was to explore improved varietal marketing and po- sitioning options for unique grapes, but this work met with resistance. In the United States, the mainstream belief is grapes only get marketed by color because ‘consumers can’t tell the difference.’ It is also easier to manage grapes in the distribution channel if they get treated as if they all look and taste the same. The reality is you can’t see flavor differences in fresh produce, so you

have to market them. Like granola bars, flavor differentiation requires great branding, packaging and storytelling. Cotton Candy grapes, one of the few grape varieties to have escaped commodity thinking, is the perfect example of flavor marketing in action. Categorization by color is fresh produce’s Achilles heel, and it limits sales and category premiumiza - tion. More importantly, it limits the ability to attract Millennial and Gen

Vision Magazine 35

December 2022

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