In March, Elana Gold took over the chief marketer role at Del Monte Fresh, one of the major US fruit and produce companies, with big plans to promote whole new product lines, like a sweeter pineapple and a crispier version of lettuce.
And that’s still the job, just in a world turned upside down.
Innovation and R&D at Del Monte is focused primarily on growing better fruits and veggies, Elana says, and getting them to retailers more efficiently. But the 134-year-old food supplier can change on the fly when it needs to.
Since the pandemic hit, Del Monte opened its first-ever retail location in Dallas, and has vertically integrated its farming and factory operations with direct-to-consumer sales. It’s also changed food packaging, to deliver more fresh, pre-cut fruit because consumers are looking for items that haven’t been recently handled by store associates.
“That’s what I want to be able to advertise,” she says.
And the brand messaging has changed as well, in line with fast-moving shopper preferences for safety and quality. That means new packaging and food delivery methods, but it’s also a theme in Del Monte’s new video campaigns, which highlight individuals in its real-world supply chain.
Elana says that trust in a company’s supply chain can shape shopper choices now on par with the great food product triumvirate: taste, quality and price.
“The people’s stories are more important now, perhaps,” she says.