South African stone fruit campaign in UK gets lift with new marketing

Produce Business report

What customers can resist colourful and succulent plums, peaches and nectarines? They practically sell themselves when displayed well with proper signage.

Each year, South African Deciduous Fruit Industry body Hortgro oversees the export of nearly 8,000 pieces of stone fruit to the UK from November to May while ensuring that retailers understand what they are getting and how to raise interest.

This year, Hortgro has stepped up its effort by offering a new consumer-facing website at to along with a five-minute video that highlights its transformative efforts around sustainability, environment, training for workers and of course its perfect growing regions in the Eastern and Western Cape.

“The goal of all this work is to ensure that we have the optimum eating experience for our top-end customers in the UK,” explained Hortgro’s stone fruit director André Smit. “Our industry lives by the slogan ‘Stone fruit are made for eating, not just for selling’.”

Hortgro said there are four varieties in each stone-fruit category this season:

  • Plums – Fortune, African Delight®, Sapphire, Ruby Sun and Flavor King
  • Peaches – Ambercrest®, Temptation, Earliblush and Jim Dandy
  • Nectarines – Alpine, Super Star®, Tifany and Royal Ruby

The goal, of course, is to increase sales again this year. In addition to giving away an African safari experience at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve in Kent, Hortgro is helping spark in-store activities in a number of supermarkets. At Morrisons, they’ve sent plum punnet-branded shrouds. They’ve also included promotions on plums at Tesco and in Sainsibury’s, where they included more than a half million branded booklets and also given shelf talkers to Waitrose. Even online at, there is a branded uber banner.

Hortgro’s Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit campaign has been running in the UK since 2010.



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