Seedless lemons have already found a sweet spot in various global markets at premium retailers where the seedlessness of the product addresses culinary frustrations experienced by chefs, home-cooks, health enthusiasts, mixologists and lovers of all things lemony. The seedless lemon has been described as the holy grail of the industry. The global trend highlighting the health aspects of making lemons a part of daily life, has put the spotlight on this zesty fruit that brings flavour to almost any dish – sometimes termed ‘the new salt’ and for foodies who have experienced this seedless option, there is no turning back.

Strategic marketing and branding

Initial availability of seedless lemons did not make a significant impact on markets due to early production challenges with the cultivar, and consistent supply availability required from retailers. This changed when ANB Produce and Marketing (ANB-PM), a South African based company commercialising and marketing a variety of fruit brands, including the globally established ClemenGold® mandarin brand, initiated their marketing strategy for seedless lemons.

Like with their other brands, their marketing approach brings together like-minded growers planting the cultivar in different parts of the world, with the aim of creating a constant supply of predictable quality fruit. This supply is then channeled into select global retailers based on exclusivity agreements. “Building a brand presence with a retailer requires commitment, and persistence, so this does require investment in marketing and taking a long-term view,” says marketing manager Adéle Ackermann. “The branding of seedless lemons as LemonGoldTM and strategic marketing support is winning over retailers and consumers alike. There is still work to be done to build supply and position the product in some retail groups, but we have made a promising start and consumers are increasingly embracing its seedlessness as a unique selling point.”

Through the development of resources such as a LemonGold recipe e-booklet (free to download), a social media presence and video material investigating the wide variety of uses for lemons, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of making seedless lemons a must-have on their weekly shopping list.

Seedless lemons to market

Various retailers are currently proudly stocking this product in branded format. The opportunity for new markets for growers and retailers is immense and bodes good opportunities.

“In addition, the signing of the new protocol agreement with China opens up new opportunities. Our footprint and established relationships with prominent Chinese importers and retailers with ClemenGold® and Sweet CTM branded mandarins, provides us with exciting marketing possibilities to explore,” says Marius du Plessis, from the ClemenGold International commercials and marketing team.

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