According to co-founder David Czinn, “nothing beats brand ambassadors doing demos, having people excited and knowledgeable about the product giving out a taste to people,” he told FoodNavigator-USA about the young brand’s marketing strategy.
Czinn didn’t specify numbers, but he said that Fruigees has seen more than doubled growth over the past year. Brand awareness has increased tremendously through partnerships with the active lifestyle scene—think events hosted by Athleta, Lululemon, and Soulcycle, or marathons, where brand ambassadors will be handing out the products.
With this positioning, Czinn said, the pouches can shed the baby food associations the format is prone to, and the brand can gear itself as a choice for athletic and outdoorsy consumers.
Meeting goals and changing goals
In a past interview with FoodNavigator-USA, Czinn and co-founder (and cousin) Josh Kahn said that their goal was to be in 2,000 stores by the end of 2015. “We'll be exceeding that number shortly as we're looking at being in 2,300 stores by the end of July,” Czinn said recently.
“We've always received such great responses from retailers and we're appreciative of all the support we've received from them - especially being a young innovative brand in a nascent category,” he added.
Since 2016 kicked off, the brand released a four pack format, which was available first at Target in the LA area, and will soon be available at Meijer, Whole Foods, QFC, Safeway/Albertson’s and Shaws.
“Our goal was to roll out 4-packs closer to 2017, but the reaction has been so positive –from customers who prefer picking up multiple packs at a time while also getting a price break, retailers who appreciate the higher ring and increased velocity, and our own benefits that came from streamlining into the multipacks,” he said.
How’s the pouch category?
Czinn observed that consumers today think of 'convenience' when they see a pouch instead of 'baby food.'
“It's still pretty much the same players,” he said about competition in the category. “What's been interesting is seeing some bigger companies trying to get involved in the space but exiting pretty quickly.
“The problem is, you can't just go in there and create more of the same - more apple sauce, more purees - you have to come in with something different and unique, otherwise you're just diluting the category. And that's why Fruigees continues to thrive - we have awesome flavors and a unique consistency that's genuinely different which allows Fruigees to appeal to a broad audience,” he added.