Coles begins new “price cut” campaign on “fresh” fruit and vegetables

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st February 2012

Coles supermarkets have launched a new marketing campaign around Australia promoting low prices for domestic fresh fruit and vegetables.

The Coles campaign takes advantage of a current glut in fresh produce around Australia. However the campaign also signals greater competition for the “fresh” descriptor crossing into the marketing cornerstone of its major competitor, Woolworths. Over the past decade, Woolworths has branded itself by the slogan “Woolworths – the Fresh Food people”. Hence, the new Coles campaign can be seen as a re-positioning of the Coles brand by identifying the “fresh” market as its own space.

Coles says its pricing deals will change every Friday, and Coles say they expect to double the number of “Super Specials” in Coles stores with offers customers of “market leading” prices on “quality fresh fruit and vegetables”.

The Coles “Fresh fruit and vegetable prices” announced for Victoria this week:

  • Truss Tomatoes: $1.70 500g pack
  • Asian Vegetables $1.00 per bunch
  • Sundowner Apples $1.95 per kg
  • Cauliflower $1.72 each
  • Perino Snacking Tomatoes $3.00 200g pack
  • Carrots $0.94 1kg pack
  • Limes 6 for $2.00 or $0.33 each
  • Red Seedless grapes $2.65 per kg
  • Peaches $2.96 per kg
  • Sweet Potato $1.96 per 1kg bag
  • Rockmelon (large) $1.50 each

Coles claims Farmers to benefit

Coles claims the new ‘freshness’ campaign will also benefit farmers who have produced a “bumper crop due to ideal growing conditions around the country”. Coles expects the price cuts to increase the number of sales, and provide a “more certain market for Australian growers who, with an abundance of product, do not have to dispose of overstocked products”.

Coles General Manager for fresh produce, Greg Davis, says that quality fresh produce is the most important part of Coles’ offer to customers, “They rightly expect the very best quality, but price is an increasingly important factor for many when choosing what to buy and where to buy it”, Davis says.

Davis also comments that Coles have worked closely with customers to transform and develop the campaign investing in new growing techniques, quality control, marketing and lower prices.

The new ad campaign launched 30 January, 2012, promotes Coles commitment to providing quality fresh produce, with Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone with Coles’ produce staff demonstrating how quickly Coles transports product to stores in less than 24 hours – without having to freeze/thaw it.

National Farmers’ response to Coles

Mr Jock Laurie, president of the National Farmers Federation (NFF) has challenged Coles to demonstrate how its latest campaign of slashing prices of fresh fruit and vegetables is not going to affect the farm gate prices for Australia’s food growers.

Although the current fruit and vegetable price cuts help the consumer in the short term, Mr Laurie said, “The cuts don’t necessarily provide a positive outlook for farmers who grow the produce”.

The NFF has called for “iron-clad guarantees that farm gate prices will not be slashed” in line with the pricing made by Coles.