May 27, 2024

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Eat Without Food

Tasty Tomatoes Are a Valuable Commodity

Whichever way you look at it, tasty tomatoes are a valuable commodity. They are nutritious and delicious, and most of us include them in our daily diet.

What is interesting though is how differently they are promoted worldwide. For instance in Florida, USA there is currently a huge marketing drive to persuade mums to include tomatoes in their children’s meals, while in France a grower of cherry tomatoes is marketing his crops as luxury, high-end gifts!

The Idea of Tasty Tomatoes as Luxury Gifts
Aurélien Serrault of Le Jardin de Rabelais has introduced a new packaging idea in the form of good looking 300 g boxes that he believes will encourage people to buy his cherry tomatoes as gifts instead of flowers or chocolates.

Le Jardin de Rabelais is based in the Loire Valley where they have been growing tomatoes since 1989 – mostly for export to England, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, Singapore and Russia. Their philosophy is to produce “taste and quality for a unique product”, and certainly their standards are high. For instance, Piccolo cherry tomatoes are ripened on the vine in an ecologically-friendly environment. They only use biological pest control, and rely on natural pollination.

“We are convinced that the biological balance in our greenhouses cannot be achieved without looking after the environment,” says Serrault.

Of course the boxed Piccolo tomatoes are more expensive than most other sorts (including their own sold in standard plastic packaging), but the company’s belief is that by adding value, they will attract customers who are willing to pay more.

“Our main focus is taste, and we think that if we maintain that good taste we’ll be able to continue to sell our tomatoes as a premium product.”

Marketing Tasty Tomatoes in Florida
The marketing exercise currently being pursued by the Florida Tomato Committee is quite different to the French campaign. Instead of appealing to elite consumers, they are punting their product to the masses via cable TV, local radio, social media and internet health sites.

There stated focus is on mothers, and their focus is on health and nutrition. As such, they are actively sharing information that shows how healthy, flavoursome, versatile and accessible tomatoes are. The campaign also focuses on recipes that are tomato-based, as well as how the fruit should be handled and stored.

While they are targeting Florida mums, the committee’s programme also aims at the US consumer and trade markets, as well as Canada, which is Florida’s largest export market.

This is the second year the Florida committee has partnered with a cooking channel to promote tomatoes, and the proof of the pudding is, as it were, in the eating.

“We know from past research that consumers are motivated to eat more fresh Florida tomatoes when hearing about tomatoes’ nutritious contribution,” says Samantha Daves, the committee’s director of education and promotion.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter where tomatoes are grown; they are healthy, delicious, versatile and tasty, and a valuable consumer commodity.