Using a playful filter on the social media platform Instagram to introduce consumers to pear varieties is part of USA Pears’ social media marketing efforts. (Courtesy Pear Bureau Northwest)
Using a playful filter on the social media platform Instagram to introduce consumers to pear varieties is part of USA Pears’ social media marketing efforts. (Courtesy Pear Bureau Northwest)

This year marks the Pear Bureau’s 90th year in existence. Like growers, shippers and retailers who need to keep their pears fresh, we need to keep our thinking and ideas fresh to stay relevant in the marketplace and to the consumer. We continue to stay pertinent with progressive and effective retail promotions and consumer programs that are fun and fresh. 

Our consumer advertising campaign is focused on social media channels. We just completed our second season using “Pearsonality” infographics highlighting each variety’s pear flavor attributes, appearance and pairing suggestions. We will be phasing in additional ads this coming season with the theme “Pears Elevate Everyday Life!” The new concept will show commonplace food being livened up with pears — such as in salads, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot cereal and more. The ads will drive consumers to our website, where we house a deep recipe library. On the site, consumers will find delicious, traditional recipes as well as unexpected, irreverent and extreme recipes, such as using insects, and snacking with pears dipped in crushed, spicy-hot Doritos. We even have dog treats! 

Kevin Moffitt

Of course, we also have serious messaging about key health aspects of pears. We have been partnering with the American Heart Association for several years. This season we’ll be exploring partnerships with the American Diabetes Association. We’ll also look to share our message through retail dietitians as we tout pears as a first food for babies, for example. 

We adjusted and evolved with the rapid changes at retail during the pandemic, and we will build on these new program directions in the coming season and beyond. Some fresh thinking includes expanding our use of in-store Quick Response (QR) codes that lead consumers to grower videos, giving consumers that connection to where their food is grown. We will be expanding our augmented reality activations in the coming season as well, which is a great new way to engage consumers, educating them about pears in a fun and progressive digital space. 

Social media continues to gain traction, and we developed shoppable ads that allow consumers to watch a short video with recipe suggestions. Consumers can download all of the ingredients to their preferred online grocery store at the click of a button and have them delivered to their home in time for dinner that night.

We will expand our social media influencer programs as well, with social media mavens featuring and discussing pears in wonderful ways. We will also be using other online activations such as geotargeting and geofencing to reach consumers with personalized marketing messages when they enter a retail store. These programs may include email messaging, based on the consumer’s location, and offer purchase suggestions. Some programs may run through the retailer’s frequent shopper programs, targeting consumers based on their buying habits, driving pear buyers to buy more pears more often and encouraging nonbuyers to purchase pears.

Our social media messages and ads, coupled with new ways of reaching consumers, continue to position pears to a new, younger audience while also satisfying our more established pear purchasers.

We will be engaging in partnerships with companies with much larger marketing budgets, such as cheese, oatmeal and packaged salad companies, as well as big baking companies such as Pillsbury. This gives us wider exposure and allows for larger-budget programs for joint recipe and cross-promotion opportunities that grab consumers’ attention and increase pear sales.

We have a full and exciting advertising and promotion calendar lined up using many time-honored tactics and new ways to keep pears in front of consumers, driving impulse and repeat purchases, increasing demand for one of the world’s most beautiful, versatile and delicious fruits.

Feel free to reach out if you have questions or would like to hear more.

All pears, all the time. 

by Kevin Moffitt