13/10/2022

Vivian Wang of Dole China: ‘Striving to double the sales of colourful Sweet Palermo’

The four colours of Rijk Zwaan’s Sweet Palermo sweet peppers have made their way to China thanks to Dole. As one of the world’s largest food companies, it combined promotional activities in Olé supermarkets with online content on TikTok to inspire Chinese consumers to taste them for themselves.

The four colours of Rijk Zwaan’s Sweet Palermo sweet peppers have made their way to China thanks to Dole. As one of the world’s largest food companies, it combined promotional activities in Olé supermarkets with online content on TikTok to inspire Chinese consumers to taste them for themselves. Vivian Wang, Director of marketing Dole China: “Colourful vegetables are rich in nutritional value and attract consumers’ attention.” Rijk Zwaan is showcasing Sweet Palermo at Asia Fruit Logistica in Bangkok from 2-4 November.

Sweet Palermo in China

“Our business covers more than 70 countries,” Wang states. “Consumers around the world trust our products, and we are committed to maintaining that trust by providing them with the safest, healthiest and highest-quality food.” Dole Asia Fresh, which is headquartered in Singapore, is a pioneer in growing, purchasing, packaging, transporting, distributing and marketing selected fresh fruits throughout the Asian market. It is particularly well known for its extensive range of fruits, but the food company has also gradually expanded its activities in vegetables, including with Sweet Palermo.

Colours attract attention

Dole decided to market the four colours of Sweet Palermo – red, yellow, orange and chocolate – in China because of the uniqueness of the concept. “It makes a good first impression on consumers. Bright colours directly attract people’s attention, which can stimulate demand,” explains Wang. “At the same time, colours represent rich nutritional value to a certain extent. Additionally, they can allow consumers to be more creative in the kitchen. We’re keen to help consumers experience the happiness that these attractive fresh vegetables can bring to themselves and their families.”

Successful in-store campaign

To promote tasting, a campaign was planned in 12 Olé supermarkets across 11 Chinese cities. Wang: “We had the opportunity to introduce Sweet Palermo to consumers face to face and inspire them with this unique product. Most consumers are willing to try new things. The sweetness and colourfulness of the products received high praise. At the same time, consumers shared their ideas on how to prepare Sweet Palermo. Despite the impact of the pandemic, our overall campaign was very successful.”

Online promotion through TikTok, Alibaba and WeChat

Because consumers in Asia associate pointed peppers with being hot and spicy rather than sweet, it’s necessary to change this mindset through intensive communication about the sweetness of Sweet Palermo. Dole is supporting the in-store campaign with online content to achieve this. “Firstly, in-store promotion gives consumers the opportunity to taste the products directly, which eliminates their doubts. Secondly, we are working with key influencers to present and explain the products online through channels including TikTok, Alibaba and WeChat. This seems to be having a very good effect.”

Cooperation involving the entire supply chain 

Dole China’s Director of marketing is pleased with the support from the Rijk Zwaan team. “They are a sincere and efficient team. It is pleasant and exciting to cooperate with them. We discussed the set-up and implementation of the entire supply chain together. From planting and harvesting to packaging, logistics, sales and marketing, we communicated and shared resources at each step. In particular, we can benefit from Rijk Zwaan’s experience with Sweet Palermo in other countries in order to accelerate the promotion and development of the whole project in China.”

Double the sales in two years

Wang is optimistic about the future for Sweet Palermo. “After two years of developing the market, we have every reason to believe that demand for the colourful Sweet Palermo will continue to grow. We will further strengthen our online promotional activities and consolidate existing offline sales channels. We are striving to double the sales in the next two years.”

Visit Rijk Zwaan at Asia Fruit Logistica

To stimulate retailers, traders and other chain partners in Asia to add more colour in the fresh produce category, Rijk Zwaan will showcase its colourful palette of bright, healthy and inspiring vegetables at Asia Fruit Logistica in Bangkok from 2-4 November. Come and meet us at stand F-17!

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