FRANCES DILLARD: People would be pretty surprised what we measure, all the way down to the to the actual seed, even before it gets to the market.
When we talk about the data and what we're measuring, it is focused on every single way that you can measure flavor through our supply chain, from R&D all the way to the consumer. So, for instance, where does flavor break down? And then how do we use that data from the supply chain to give it all the way back to the key stakeholders?
Seems like the data is really all tied to the freshness of the fruit, as opposed to consumers or users, as marketers typically think about.
Well, that’s really the challenge.
When COVID first hit, Amazon and others were so busy moving dry goods and trying to get the shelves stacked and filled, that our berries at times were not getting through the system and the supply chain fast enough. And we saw a deterioration in the quality. People were having problems with ecommerce orders. Unlike an apple or a banana, where there’s lots of leeway on the margin of error of how quickly you get it to a customer, a raspberry is probably the most perishable item.
So that’s why we focus on flavor and quality of flavor.
Since we’ve pushed more into online ordering, we’ve been making sure our cold chain [the produce industry term for the transport from refrigerated delivery truck to a store freezer to cold shelves] delivers on that freshness. We literally print posters for managers at the store level to hang in the back room or break room, and it has lessons on how to keep berries fresher.
Even with the click-and-collect orders, we’ve seen important differences in how quickly store associates bring orders out to the customer, or where the order sits inside the store, and for how long. We try to share our insights with customers depending on where they are in that ecommerce strategy, and how they handle produce.
Those are important factors to whether that customer orders fresh berries online next time.
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