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Completed project

Apple and pear qualitative research (AP22006)

Key research provider: Torch
Publication date: Monday, October 23, 2023

What was it all about?

In 2023, this project conducted qualitative consumer research to inform future marketing efforts in the apple and pear industry. The research investigated the core needs and occasions where apples and pears are and could be consumed, identified the best opportunities and potential solutions for barriers that exist, and found compelling messaging and propositions to drive growth for greater penetration and usage occasions.

The key finds from the apple research were:

  1. Light and heavy/medium users have the same needs and uses. They differ primarily by their frequency of consumption. Apples are one of the favourite fruits of heavy/medium users.  Light users like apples, but they like other fruits more (so they eat apples less).
  2. All users would be motivated by apples’ detailed health credentials. It is not enough to know they are healthy; they want to know in what ways and how this benefits them versus other fruits.  This is especially true for light users who say this would prompt them to eat more apples  .
  3. “An apple a day…” is catchy, still powerful, and a distinctive message. It is also a bit dated and too vague. It needs modernising meaning to remain relevant and avoid being just a cliché.
  4. Apple varieties are intriguing though not well-known. Talking about varieties has the potential to enliven apples and bring news to a brand that feels to many to be basic, a bit dusty, and lacking in excitement.
  5. Especially for light users, messaging needs to reinforce health benefits and remind of the taste experience.  News in the form of apple varieties can help rejuvenate the brand.

The key findings from the pear research were:

  1. Many light users really like pears, they just do not know enough about how to have a good relationship with them – from choosing them in-store to handling them at home and ways of using them. Many say they would buy and eat more if they understood more.
  2. Pear-buying with light users is more spontaneous vs heavy/medium users. There is opportunity in-store to influence their purchase with point-of-sale materials.
  3. Marketing efforts to broaden the competitive set of pears to all fruit and all snacks, as well as other occasions beyond snacking would remind users of sometimes latent opportunities that are ripe for pear consumption
  4. The pairing of pears with other ingredients elevates them beyond a simple snack occasion and creates demand. Several users pointed out that pears may be more versatile than many other fruits in this way.
Related levy funds

This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund